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Canada to recruit volunteers, offer jobs to reservists amid COVID-19: Trudeau – Global News

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Canada has put a call out for volunteers to support frontline healthcare workers and is offering full-time jobs to Canadian Forces reservists, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced during an update to the country’s coronavirus response on Sunday.

“For those of you with specialized skills looking to help our frontline workers, we do want to hear from you,” said Trudeau, who spoke to reporters from Rideau Cottage where he is self-isolating.

According to the prime minister, Health Canada will be building “an inventory of specialized work volunteers” that provinces and territories can draw on, and that some of the work may include tracking COVID-19 cases and tracing contacts.


READ MORE:
Coronavirus: Canada to receive ‘millions’ of masks from China, Trudeau says

Trudeau also said that reservists in the Canadian Armed Forces would also be offered full-time jobs over the coming months, with the same pay and benefits as regular enlisted members.

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“Bolstering the military’s ranks will help offset some of the economic consequences of COVID-19 and ensure that our communities are well-supported,” Trudeau said.

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Volunteer applications will be open until at least April 24, while reservists across the country are going to be contacted directly by the Canadian government.

On Saturday, Trudeau announced “millions” of medical masks would be arriving in Canada from China within 48 hours.

Ottawa is expecting between seven and eight million surgical masks. included in that order are supplies for hard-hit Quebec.

Canada has also leased a warehouse in China to collect and distribute additional supplies “as quickly as possible,” he said.

According to Trudeau, officials are working “day and night” to secure additional, desperately needed personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers.

And, while Canada continues to source the PPE from international suppliers, Trudeau said the government is also working with domestic manufacturers.






2:17
Trudeau won’t retaliate over Trump’s order to ban N95 mask exports to Canada


Trudeau won’t retaliate over Trump’s order to ban N95 mask exports to Canada

The prime minister’s comments came a day after U.S. President Donald Trump asked Minnesota-based company 3M to stop exporting N95 masks to Canada.

Asked about the move, Trudeau said the dialogue was ongoing with U.S. officials, and that he planned to speak with Trump.

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“We are continuing to engage in constructive discussions with different levels within the administration to highlight that the U.S. will be hurting itself as much as Canada will be hurting if we see an interruption of essential goods and services flow back and forth across the border,” he said. “We continue to demonstrate that this is a good thing for both of our countries and we look to continue to ensure that essential supplies get across the border.”

Trudeau said, though, that Canada was not planning any retaliatory measures against the U.S.


READ MORE:
Canada not looking to retaliate after U.S. restricts coronavirus mask exports: Trudeau

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, by 5 p.m. ET on Saturday, more than 13,800 cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed in Canada.

Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, Canada’s chief medical officer, Dr. Theresa Tam said currently Canada’s healthcare system is not overwhelmed by serious cases of COVID-19, but cautioned that the situation could change at any time.

Tam urged Canadians to continue practising physical distancing, and to heed the advice of medical authorities.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Canada reports 219 new coronavirus infections as two-thirds of overall cases recover – Globalnews.ca

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Canada’s provincial governments reported 219 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Sunday, including another two in P.E.I in addition to three cases announced there just the day before.

Sunday’s cases raise the country’s total lab-confirmed infections of COVID-19 to 105,516. Another 10 fatalities from the new coronavirus were also reported on Sunday, raising Canada’s death toll to 8,864.

As of July 5, over 69,000 people in Canada have since recovered from the virus, while the number of administered tests has surpassed more than 3,094,000.

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

Numbers released on Sunday, however, do not account for all regions across the country, as many are not releasing new data over the weekend. These provinces include Alberta, Saskatchewan, B.C. and the territories.

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The brunt of Sunday’s cases — including all 10 deaths — were announced by Ontario and Quebec, the two hardest-hit provinces Canada.

Ontario reported 138 new cases and two deaths on Sunday. A total of 35,794 confirmed cases and 2,689 have since been announced in the province, while 31,266 people have recovered.






5:02
Coronavirus: Two new cases reported in P.E.I.


Coronavirus: Two new cases reported in P.E.I.

Quebec announced 79 new cases of the virus on Sunday, bringing its provincial total to 55,863. The province also reported eight fatalities from COVID-19 on Sunday but clarified that seven of those newly announced deaths occurred before June 27.

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Both the province’s cases and death toll — the latter of which is 5,574 — account for more than 50 per cent of Canada’s total figures. A further 25,346 people have since recovered from the virus, however.

Prince Edward Island’s two new cases of COVID-19 bring its total to five infections in the past 48 hours, following a two-month period without a positive test in the province.

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Read more:
Canadians to get first glimpse of true COVID-19 infection rate in mid-July

Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Manitoba released new data but did not report any additional cases of COVID-19 on Sunday.

Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam also released a statement on Sunday in lieu of a daily in-person announcement.

According to Sunday’s federal data, 66 per cent of people diagnosed with COVID-19 in Canada have recovered, while an average of 39,000 people were tested daily over the past week. One per cent of those tests were found to be positive.

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On Saturday, the World Health Organization announced its single highest daily tally of the virus since the start of the pandemic, with over 212,000 new cases

Worldwide, more than 11,300,000 people have tested positive for the virus, according to a running tally kept by Johns Hopkins University, while 531,729 have died.

— With files from The Canadian Press and Alessia Simona Maratta

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Most Canadians opposed to Wexit, but poll finds new party could pose challenge to Conservatives – CBC.ca

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A majority of Canadians remain opposed to the concept of the four most western provinces separating from Canada, but a new Abacus Data poll suggests the limited support the Wexit Canada party currently enjoys could come at the expense of the federal Conservatives.

“If you isolate the four western provinces, the federal Conservatives rely on those provinces disproportionately for more of their support, more of their seats,” said David Coletto, CEO of Abacus Data. “When you distil down and look at it, who are these Wexiteers?”

Coletto said among those who support separation from Canada, “almost half of them nationally voted Conservative. Among those western Canadians, 81 per cent voted Conservative in the last election.”

The poll found that only seven per cent of Canadians think Wexit is a good idea — but Coletto said that number increased to 15 per cent of Conservative Party voters in the 2019 election.

How survey respondents said they would feel about a separation of Canada’s four western provinces. (Abacus Data)

Among Albertans, the new party gets slightly higher support. Twenty per cent of survey respondents in the province said Alberta separating from the rest of the country was a “good idea.” Another 26 per cent said they could “live with it,” while 54 per cent called it a “terrible idea.”

“It shows that Wexit Canada, as a starting point, has an audience that is open to listening, and in Alberta particularly, an audience who may not be strongly in favour of separating but signal that they could live with it,” Coletto said.

How Alberta survey respondents said they would feel about Alberta separating from Canada. (Abacus Data)

The results mirror frustrations felt by Albertans that were indicated in a November 2019 Abacus poll. It found that three-quarters of Albertans said their province is treated “unfairly” in its relationship with the rest of the country.

“This is not necessarily a wholesale shift of views, but I think it reflects an environment where this kind of perspective, this kind of party, could find some traction with a portion of the electorate or voters and residents in Alberta and other western provinces,” Coletto said.

Party has a new leader

Last month, veteran conservative politician Jay Hill was named interim leader of the Wexit party following the resignation of founder Peter Downing. Hill was Conservative House leader under then-prime minister Stephen Harper at the time of his retirement in 2010.

Duane Bratt, a political scientist at Mount Royal University in Calgary, said the new Abacus data shows pro-separation numbers at a rate that is largely consistent with other polls but indicates a higher amount of what he called “soft” separatists.

“There is a committed small minority that is hardcore separatist, around nine to 13 per cent. The remaining supporters are soft,” Bratt said in an email. “Meaning that their support could be hardened or dissipate based on current events or if a serious referendum would be put into play.”

He said the Wexit party also poses a problem for the Conservatives in Western Canada, given that none of the four candidates running for the party leadership are from that part of the country — the first time since the federal Conservative party’s formation in 2003.

“[The polls indicated] that Wexit is driven by Alberta. While there is support in the other western provinces, the heart of the movement is in Alberta,” Bratt said. “This is also a challenge for [Premier Jason] Kenney.”

He said that many supporters of separatism back the governing United Conservative Party, “and a few may even be in his caucus.”

Premier Jason Kenney has said that threatening separation from Canada would destabilize investor confidence and would be ‘hugely counter-productive.’ (CBC)

Kenney himself has pushed back against the idea of Alberta separation, calling it an empty threat that could hurt the province’s economy.

But others in his party disagree, including UCP Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA Drew Barnes, who has called for “consequences” should Alberta’s demands not be met by Ottawa.

Abacus said the survey was conducted online with 1,500 Canadian residents from June 26 to 30, and was weighted according to census data “to ensure that the sample matched Canada’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region.”

For comparison purposes, a probability-based sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The margins of error would be higher on provincial results or other subsets of the main sample.  

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Black in small-town Canada: From racism to building inclusive communities – Globalnews.ca

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Seeing Confederate flags sold and displayed around Stratford, Ont., had left Edward Smith feeling disappointed and disturbed.

The 37-year old, originally from Ohio, moved to Stratford to work as an actor; he.has lived in the Ontario city that’s known for its arts and culture scene for 10 years.

According to the 2016 census, Stratford has a population of around 31,00 people. Fewer than 350 identified as Black. 

Last week, Smith was out walking his dog and saw a Confederate flag hanging in the window of an apartment in his building. He snapped a photo and posted it in the community association group with the question: ‘Can we do better?”

READ MORE: What it’s like to rent as a Black Canadian: ‘I don’t even have a chance’

“And then the vitriol came,” he said. Blatantly racist memes were sent his way, which depicted lynching, blackface and language that praised white supremacy.

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While many supported him, Stratford also needs to face the hateful environment that has been created, he said. 

“The community needs to take responsibility for the fact that racism feels welcomed and at home in its midst,” he said. “We need to realize our own culpability in allowing people to hold these views unchallenged.”

Being Black in a small town or city in Canada can hold a different set of challenges when it comes to one’s sense of belonging, multiple residents told Global News. Some may experience both overt and subtle forms of racism, while others find themselves teaching their non-Black neighbours how to be allies.  

In recent months, protests have been happening across the world stemming from the deaths of multiple Black people at the hands of police, including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. People have also continued to call for an end to anti-Black racism across the country.

Feelings of isolation 

But being Black at this time in a community without many Black people can be extra isolating, says Meghan Watson, a registered psychotherapist based in Toronto.

“It’s not necessarily just geographic,” she said. “That isolation is defined by feelings of hopelessness. There may be triggers around previous experiences of isolation, perhaps instances of microaggressions or macroaggressions and invalidation may arise.”

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3:32
Discussing race and raising children of colour


Discussing race and raising children of colour

Watson says Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BlPOC) can feel further isolation if they don’t have an understanding, accepting or supportive community of allies around them.

“That’s going to create some mental health issues where you might see someone in persistent anxiety and stress or hyper-vigilance of their surroundings.”

She says many have long believed that racism may not exist in a country like Canada or that we’re just too “nice,” especially in small-town living, but experiences involving overt and subtle racism still exist.

“There’s a lot of benevolent racism that happens in small communities.”

“There’s a lot of well-meaning individuals who have pure intentions, but it’s deeply rooted in a history of believing in and considering people of colour and Black individuals in Canada as less-than.”

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‘Pain’ from daily microaggressions, racist comments

After feeling isolated and dealing with racist comments living in the small town of Pembroke, Ont., Burgundy Morgan, 23, knew she had to leave.

In high school, she remembers teachers would hammer her with questions, asking where she was “really from.” Some white classmates called her “the whitest Black girl” because of how she spoke, she said. 

“I just kind of went along with it … because I wanted to make friends. I did feel pain from things like that,” she said. 

Burgundy Morgan left the small town she grew up in due to racism.


Burgundy Morgan left the small town she grew up in due to racism.


Photo provided by Burgundy Morgan

Pembroke has a population of around 15,000 people and only 75 are Black, according to 2016 census data. For Morgan, the worst experience was how some people treated her natural hair. 

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READ MORE: Want to support Black people? Stop talking, start listening

“People were always coming up to me, touching my hair, playing with my hair, always asking me questions.”

She eventually moved to Ottawa to go to college and doesn’t plan on going back to Pembroke. 

She remembers white classmates saying the N-word around her, not knowing the history of that word. 

“There’s a lot of things that weren’t taught about racism in schools (and) it’s not enough to be ‘not racist.’ You have to be anti-racist and continuously be educating and taking accountability for your actions.”

The importance of building a community

Tristan Barrocks, 36, has been living in Shelburne, Ont., for five years with his wife and children. The town had about 8,100 people, according to the 2016 census, about 750 of whom were Black.

Barrocks, a documentary filmmaker and cinematographer, says he has seen how diverse his town has become in just the last few years. In fact, when he first moved from Brampton, Ont., to Shelburne, a few other Black families also moved with him.

“It was definitely a dramatic difference in the sense of the pace of life and also the quality of life,” he said.

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READ MORE: Companies aren’t ‘comfortable’ talking about anti-Black racism. Here’s how to start

Now, Barrocks has invested his time in building a more inclusive community for his children. He joined a local parent council to include more Black-focused events and programming within the school system and hopes to bring more extra-curricular activities to students of all backgrounds.

Tristan Barrocks pictured with his family.


Tristan Barrocks pictured with his family.


Photo provided by Tristan Barrocks

In his eyes, this is a way to expand his community and make it more diverse.

“There is the old-school string of thought where Shelburne is small-town … and we need to keep that vintage style,” he said. “Some of these people have never left Shelburne or been around Black or brown people or Asian people.”

He says that while he has not experienced racism in his town himself, he often deals with racial bias or stereotypes about being Black. But he also has a lot of respect for his local leaders and neighbours — Barrocks says hundreds of people showed up to a Black Lives Matter protest recently.

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1:58
Move to re-name some of Quebec’s racially offensive location names


Move to re-name some of Quebec’s racially offensive location names

There are things happening (here). There is progress being made,” he said.

Barrocks says he spent months soul-searching his decision when he first moved and realized he also had assumptions about small-town living.

Tristan Barrocks moved to a small town with his family and is invested in the community.


Tristan Barrocks moved to a small town with his family and is invested in the community.


Photo provided by Tristan Barrocks

“We made assumptions people weren’t friendly or people were looking at us a different way … We took the initiative upon ourselves to engage in dialogue.”

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The cost of living in a city

Alyssa, a 44-year old woman who has lived in Paris, Ont., for most of her life, says that while living in the town of around 12,000 people is usually quiet, she has faced microaggressions.

Global News has changed Alyssa’s name to protect her identity.

As a school teacher, students have made fun of her lips and the colour of her skin, she said. 

“I didn’t say anything about it because I was a little bit in shock and numb,” she told Global News.

READ MORE: An 8-hour drive for braids — Why Black haircare is hard in small-town Canada

Alyssa says she would feel more comfortable living in a larger city, as the environment would be more diverse.

“I just physically feel more comfortable there,” she said.

But the cost of living in a major urban centre like Toronto or Montreal is a deterrent that has kept her in Paris.

Racism is a burden for Black people everywhere, but within a city, it may be “easier to bear,” she said. Finding other Black people to discuss what she is going through is close to impossible in Paris, as seeing another Black person is a “rarity,” she said. 

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2:29
Black Lives Matter chalk messages appear then disappear in Athens, Ont.


Black Lives Matter chalk messages appear then disappear in Athens, Ont.

Watson understands how important it is to be around communities that look like you and support you, but she also understands how hard it can be.

She recommends reaching out to support groups digitally or trying to build relationships with others in your city or town.

Small-town living may not be for everyone either, she stresses, and if you are planning to make the move, do some reflection first. She says it’s not a Black person’s job to “fix” diversity problems in small towns either.

“Everybody has a different tolerance and understanding of what it means to feel connected to others.”

More information about anti-Black racism in Canada:
Racial profiling and racial discrimination against Black people is a systemic problem in Canada, according to numerous reports and experts.

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Black Canadians account for 3.5 per cent of the country’s total population, according to the latest government statistics, but are over-represented in federal prisons by more than 300 per cent, as found by the John Howard Society.

A Black person is nearly 20 times more likely than a white person to be involved in a fatal shooting by Toronto police, a 2018 report by the Ontario Human Rights Commission found, and Black Canadians are more likely to experience inappropriate or unjustified searches during encounters and unnecessary charges or arrests.

They’re also more likely to be held overnight by police than white people, according to the John Howard Society.

Black Canadians experience disparities in health outcomes compared to the population at large, according to research from the Black Health Alliance. The Black Experiences in Health Care Symposium Report notes that they often face barriers and discrimination within health-care systems. Black people report higher rates of diabetes and hypertension compared to white people, which researchers published in the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health say may stem from experiences of racism in everyday life.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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