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Canada tops 100,000 reported coronavirus cases –



Ontario reported 173 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, pushing Canada’s total number of confirmed and presumptive cases above 100,000.

As of 11:20 a.m. ET on Thursday, Canada had 100,146 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases, with 62,442 considered recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial data, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 8,349.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday said that as parts of the economy reopen, testing and contact tracing “is crucial.”

Trudeau said testing for a voluntary nationwide mobile app that will let users know if they have been exposed to COVID-19 will soon begin in Ontario. 

“There are already a number of provinces, including B.C., who are working with us on this, but it will be available to everyone in the coming weeks.” 

Prior to Ontario’s case update on Thursday, Quebec and Ontario represented roughly 87 per cent of the total case numbers in Canada. 

Long-term care homes have been an area of major concern in the country, with several facilities in Quebec and Ontario facing such severe staffing issues that the provincial governments requested help from the Canadian Armed Forces.

Quebec’s coroner’s office has ordered a vast public inquiry into COVID-19 deaths at some of the province’s long-term care homes, private seniors’ residences and other accommodations for vulnerable people. Pascale Descary, the province’s chief coroner, said in a statement the public inquiry will allow Quebecers to learn the facts about what happened during the pandemic.

Ontario was the first province to announce it would look into the long-term care system, announcing in May that it would hold an independent commission. But critics decried the move, saying a full public inquiry is required.

The global pandemic has caused massive strain on health systems and economies worldwide — including in Canada, where provinces struggled to ramp up testing in early days and worried about shortages of critical protective gear and trained staff.

Public health officials responded to growing case numbers with public health measures aimed at slowing the spread of the disease, but widespread closures came with significant economic strain for governments, businesses and families as organizations closed their doors. 

As daily new case numbers decline, provinces have been taking steps toward reopening after months of closures and strict health measures aimed at fighting the novel virus, for which there is no proven cure or treatment.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, has warned that there is no place for complacency around public health measures, and urged people to keep up hand hygiene and physical distancing. 

Nunavut remains the only jurisdiction in Canada with no confirmed cases of COVID-19, but Yukon, Northwest Territories and Prince Edward Island have to date had no deaths attributed to the novel virus.

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Ottawans reinvent Canada Day celebrations for 2020 –



For the first time in recent memory, Parliament Hill did not host the country’s biggest party on Canada Day.

With no formal celebrations on the hill this year, Ottawans instead turned to their neighbourhoods, city parks and beaches to show Canadian pride.

Here’s what just a few people in the nation’s capital did to celebrate Canada’s 153rd year.  

Adegoke Sofumade, third from right, who moved with his family from Nigeria seven years ago, said the pandemic forced him to appreciate the support of friends and family. “It’s been really really hard, but … COVID is going to go and we’ll still be standing,” he said. (Jean Delisle/CBC)

“Having this big family gives us hope. It gives us comfort,” Adegoke Sofumade said. “We are here to help each other, to lift each other’s spirits.” Sofumade, his family, and the family of several colleagues were enjoying the holiday at Britannia Beach on Wednesday. (Jean Delisle/CBC)

For Crystal Wasney, second adult on the left, her son Colton, and her extended family, Canada Day is about making the most out of this time we have together. It’s also about volleyball. (Jean Delisle/CBC)

Hundreds of anti-government and anti-lockdown protesters gathered on Parliament Hill in Ottawa this afternoon. (Joseph Tunney/CBC News)

There was a hodgepodge of messages presented at the protest. While many had complaints against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, others brandished signs decrying public health recommendations to wear masks. (Jean Delisle/CBC)

Parents Neesha, left, and Sunny Khosla, right, take their daughter, Kaya, for a walk in her festive outfit near the ByWard Market. (Joseph Tunney/CBC News)

Stephanie Palie and Kevin Thomas pose with the Ottawa sign near the ByWard Market, with five-month-old Maileen relaxing in the baby carriage. (Joseph Tunney/CBC News)

From the left: Qahtan Hassan and Ingirsir Sarakar arrived in Canada last November from Iraq. It’s been a long first year, but they say today is special. “It’s the first Canada Day since we [came] from our country,” Sarakar said, standing near Britannia Beach. (Jean Delisle/CBC)

Couple Lin Lu, left, and Ziyuan Di, right, enjoy a “chill session” in Major’s Hill Park. (Joseph Tunney/CBC)

Mourad Kanani from Tunisia stands with his wife, Suha. Their children Habiba, 3, and Ahmed, 18 months, were both born in Canada. “We are proud they are already Canadian,” he said. (Amanda Pfeffer/CBC)

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Canada's five big banks join anti-hate advertising boycott of Facebook – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News



Jake Kivanc, The Canadian Press

Published Wednesday, July 1, 2020 3:27PM EDT

Last Updated Wednesday, July 1, 2020 6:05PM EDT

TORONTO – All five of Canada’s biggest banks are joining an international boycott of Facebook over concerns that the platform is complicit in promoting racism, violence and misinformation.

Scotiabank, RBC, CIBC, BMO and TD have pledged to stop purchasing ads on the site for the month, aligning themselves with brands such as Lululemon Athletica and MEC in signing onto the #StopHateForProfit campaign.

The initiative, spearheaded by organizations like the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League, began in response to growing anti-Semitic and anti-Black rhetoric found on the social media platform.

Participating brands will suspend all advertising on the platform for the month of July.

Scotiabank announced its intentions on Tuesday, while the four others confirmed on Wednesday that they would follow suit.

A spokesman for RBC said the company understands that systemic racism has disadvantaged Black, Indigenous and People of Colour and the bank intends to combat that.

“One way we can do that is by standing against misinformation and hate speech, which only make systemic racism more pervasive,” AJ Goodman said.

Facebook has come under fire in recent months for what critics say is an indifference when it comes to policing their platform for individuals and groups espousing hateful ideology.

They’ve also been criticized for a lack of action on disinformation.

For instance, last month, U.S. President Donald Trump posted a doctored video featuring fake CNN footage on both his Twitter and Facebook accounts, in which a CNN logo appears over footage of a Black toddler running away from a white toddler.

The footage is then followed by another clip from a different angle – this time without the CNN watermark – in which it becomes clear the two toddlers are friends.

The parents of the two toddlers later told ABC News that they were “appalled” and “disgusted” by the video.

Initially, only Twitter flagged the video as misleading, with Facebook resisting public pressure to enforce their own labelling system.

However, after numerous brands began pulling advertising from the platform, the company reversed its decision at the end of June and began taking down some political posts deemed to be fake or misleading.

Criticism against Facebook has come from inside the company as well.

At the beginning of June – shortly after Trump threatened via social media to order the military to shoot anti-racism protestors – hundreds of Facebook employees staged a virtual walkout to protest the company’s refusal to label the post as hate speech.

A spokesman for Facebook noted that the company has suspended more than 250 white supremacist groups from the platform but did not specifically comment on the boycott.

More recently, Friends of Canadian Broadcasting called on the federal government to drop hosting its virtual celebration on Facebook.

But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s address to Canadians went ahead on the platform – along with YouTube, CBC, CPAC and Radio-Canada – on Wednesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on July 1, 2020.

Facebook and The Canadian Press recently announced a reporting initiative called the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. Facebook will have no influence over the stories created under the program, which is set to launch in the fall; The Canadian Press will maintain complete editorial independence.

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How the country's top doc is spending Canada Day and how she thinks you should too – CTV News



As Canadians celebrate a toned-down Canada Day this year, the country’s top doctor is reminding everyone to continue to follow COVID-19 health guidelines she’s observing while enjoying the holiday. 

While she’s spending some of the day at work, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam also hoped to celebrate Canada’s birthday by going outside for a run.

“The thing I love about Canada, when I arrived in Canada, was the great, amazing, and epic outdoors,” she told CTV News Channel on Wednesday. “I’m a runner so I’m going to try and do a little bit of exercise if I can and practise what I preach, really, to maintain all of that good public health advice.”

That “good public health advice” Tam is referring to includes gathering virtually, wearing a face mask whenever it’s difficult to maintain physical distance, frequent hand washing, meeting in social “bubbles,” and staying home when sick.

“Virtual is best, but certainly stay within your household or family bubble,” she said. “Boat together in your bubble, commute within your bubble, barbecue within your bubble. It’s the safest.”

With more than 27,000 active cases of COVID-19 in the country, Tam also took the opportunity to remind Canadians the coronavirus hasn’t been eradicated yet.

“Right now, overall in Canada, we have passed the peak of this first wave and we’re well on our way down the other side of the curve, but the virus is still with us and so we cannot let our guard down,” she explained. “There are hotspots around the country. It hasn’t left.”

Tam said she expects to see more outbreaks as more businesses reopen and some Canadians return to the office in the coming weeks.

“The key is to sort of jump on those cases and find those contacts really fast, do good testing, and keep those numbers down,” she said. “The best-case scenario is a series of these little bumps that we can actually manage to control across the country.”

As for how long Canadians will have to adhere to these guidelines, Tam said there’s no way to know for sure, but the only way to prevent further spread of the virus is for everyone to work together.

“I do want to wish everybody a happy and safe Canada Day, go out as safe as you can,” she said. “This is a marathon and not a sprint.” 

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