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Canadian province of Ontario will shut down the day after Christmas – CNN

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Ford called the closure a temporary and one-time measure at a news conference, at which he implored residents to stay home except for essential needs like groceries and health emergencies.
“Unfortunately, despite the restrictions, we’ve seen growing numbers of people traveling between regions within Ontario,” Ford said. “Covid is spreading rapidly from high-outbreak areas to areas with fewer cases.”
The shutdown will remain in effect for 14 days in northern Ontario and 28 days in southern Ontario, he said. Ontario is Canada’s most populous province with a population of 14 million people, roughly 38% of Canada’s 38 million people.
Officials will reevaluate the situation and determine whether restrictions need to be extended before the initial designated shutdown expires, Ford said.
Hospitalizations in the province have increased 74% and intensive care unit admissions are up 80% in recent weeks, according to a news release detailing shutdown restrictions.
Covid-19-related hospitalizations have increased 74% in the last four weeks and ICU admissions for virus-related complications have more than doubled in that time, the release says.
The health system is verging on canceling elective surgeries due to the capacity concerns with thousands of surgeries already backlogged, Ford told reporters. 
The premier called on Canada’s federal government to close borders to mitigate the spread from travelers. 
“That’s why we’ve continually … continually asked the federal government to secure our borders — 63,000 people are going unchecked every week just through Pearson International Airport,” Ford said. “And I can tell you if they won’t act further, at minimum, we need to test air travelers when they arrive at the airport. This is critical and if they don’t do it, we will do it ourselves if needed.”
Canada announced a travel ban on travelers from the UK from midnight Sunday for at least 72 hours. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a tweet the decision was made to keep Canadians safe from a new coronavirus variant discovered in the UK.
Indoor organized public events and social gatherings larger than a single household are restricted. 
In-person services at supermarkets and pharmacies will operate at a 50% capacity but nonessential retail settings are restricted to curbside pickup and delivery.
Restaurants are reduced to takeout and delivery orders only, with indoor and outdoor dining prohibited during the shutdown.
“I want to be clear; schools are not part of the problem of Covid in our communities. But out of an abundance of caution, school closures over the winter break will be extended,” Ford said.
Kindergarten to eighth grade students will resume in-person instruction on January 11. High school students will resume learning remotely on January 11 and return to in-class instructions on January 25, according to the press release.

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2 New Deaths, 116 New Cases Of COVID-19 In Windsor Essex On Saturday – windsoriteDOTca News

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  1. 2 New Deaths, 116 New Cases Of COVID-19 In Windsor Essex On Saturday  windsoriteDOTca News
  2. BlackburnNews.com – Overdose alert issued for Windsor area  BlackburnNews.com
  3. Some local leaders fear looming crisis as migrant workers start to arrive in Windsor-Essex  CBC.ca
  4. 8 additional deaths, 99 new COVID-19 cases in Windsor-Essex  CTV News Windsor
  5. Ontario’s enforcement tour coming to Windsor-Essex this weekend  CTV News Windsor
  6. View Full coverage on Google News



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Post-pandemic apocalypse – Winnipeg Free Press

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Statistic after statistic points to the debilitating state of commerce in Canada. But what exactly do all those pandemic-fuelled business closures mean for cities like Winnipeg, Vancouver or Toronto?

Data released this week by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business shows the situation is dire. More than one in six businesses — at least 239,000 across Canada and 5,601 in Manitoba — are at the risk of permanently disappearing because of COVID-19, or have already closed.

Economists, public policy stakeholders and municipal planners are split on how exactly this will affect the future of downtown cores and surrounding areas.


In interviews with the Free Press, experts described how jarring shifts in local economies will cause hypercompetition in some sectors, while others might completely disappear. It could also cause fewer jobs overall, less walkable areas, limited shopping options, and a rapid loss of the “biz village” concept, they said, along with severe population declines.

One in six businesses at risk — at least 239,000 across Canada and 5,601 in Manitoba

Click to Expand

2.4 MILLION PEOPLE likely be out of work — a staggering 20 per cent of private sector jobs, or just about ONE IN SEVEN of all employment in Canada

47% of businesses are fully open, as of Jan. 22 — down from 62 per cent at the end of November

36% fully staffed, as of Jan. 22 — down from 41 per cent at the end of November

22% businesses currently making normal sales, as of Jan. 22 — down from 29 per cent at the end of November

Source: Canadian Federation of Independent Business

If there’s one thing they can all agree on, however, it’s that Canadians cities will likely never look the same again. And if governments plan on bringing things back to a sustainable “new normal,” analysts believe preparation for it should begin as soon as possible.

“I think there’s an implicit assumption that we’re in a sort of snow globe right now and that everything’s suspended so that one day soon we’ll all go back to normal,” said Vass Bednar, a policy expert who’s held several public and private sector leadership roles, including at Airbnb and Queen’s Park in Toronto.

“Those assumptions are almost certainly wrong,” she said. “The fact is, everyone will quickly notice how different things already are when they go on a walk around their cities to see not just closed signs, but also the larger store or restaurant signs taken off to indicate permanent closures for so many of their favourite places. And it will only get more severe.”

CFIB’s latest figures suggest that at least 58,000 businesses have already permanently closed their doors following pandemic-related lockdowns and restrictions in 2020.

Sylvain Charlebois, a leading supply chain expert, said shifts toward more consolidation and amalgamation will cause city demographics themselves to change. (Supplied)

Sylvain Charlebois, a leading supply chain expert, said shifts toward more consolidation and amalgamation will cause city demographics themselves to change. (Supplied)

Based on a survey of its members done between Jan. 12 and Jan. 16, the organization now says a mid-range of at least 181,000 small business owners are also considering to close down or declare bankruptcy on top of last year’s numbers, adding up to 239,000 in total.

But should things remain unchanged, by the end of this year, closures could rise up to 280,117 across Canada. In Manitoba, that’s roughly 6,645 storefronts — with even the lowest estimates suggesting at least six per cent (5,601 businesses) will be lost.

That means more than 2.4 million people will likely be out of work — a staggering 20 per cent of private sector jobs, or just about one in seven of all employment in Canada.

“They’re all very scary figures,” said Jonathan Alward, Prairies director for CFIB. “I really, truly hope we’re wrong on this. But it just doesn’t seem like we are, at least not right now.

“In an ordinary time, businesses would never want to be rescued with help from the government. But right now, I think creating pathways for safe openings by tax breaks, subsidies and other strategies to provide easier access is just as important for communities themselves than the business owners.”


Fletcher Baragar is an economics professor at the University of Manitoba who’s extensively researched how bankruptcies and bailouts affect societies and communities. He said he’s never seen more closures than this past year — not during the 2008-09 financial crisis, or even in his studies of recessions that occurred before the turn of the millennium.

“It’s a common thing to see exits and entries all the time in the market — healthy changes are the whole point of an entrepreneurial marketplace,” said Baragar. “But when that business change happens so rapidly, it certainly affects everything else… and it’s incredibly uneven in the type of areas and sectors it affects when some benefit from it and others die out of it.”

Hospitality and arts are two of the hardest-hit sectors, CFIB data indicates, with 33 per cent and 28 per cent of businesses in those sectors expected to close up shop. In the retail sector, it’s 15 per cent of companies.

At the other end of the spectrum, agriculture and natural resources are the lowest-impacted of any sector — still, with six per cent of businesses expected to close. Next is construction, at nine per cent, and manufacturing, at 12 per cent.

Provincial breakdowns show Newfoundland and Labrador will see the most severe impact, with a high-end estimate of 28 per cent of all businesses to close. That’s followed by Alberta at 25 per cent and Ontario at 24. Manitoba is right in the middle at 18 per cent, and Nova Scotia is least-impacted at 14 per cent.

Retail locations, including those in Winnipeg's Osborne Village, are either closed or have only offered curb-side pick-up and delivery since province-wide code red restrictions were declared in mid-November. (Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press)

Retail locations, including those in Winnipeg’s Osborne Village, are either closed or have only offered curb-side pick-up and delivery since province-wide code red restrictions were declared in mid-November. (Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press)

That’s why business owners have begun to ask themselves tough questions, said Baragar, about whether it’s even worth opening up when they’re allowed to and if it’s something they can afford financially.

“Of the ones remaining, I think there’s going to be a lot more consolidation and amalgamation internationally and from one side of the country to the next,” he said. “And that means fewer buying and service options for quite literally everything — restaurants, clothing, you name it.”

Sylvain Charlebois, a leading supply chain expert, said these shifts will also cause city demographics themselves to change. Pointing to recent Starbucks coffee shop closures, he said food companies are making note of this, and will “always go where the money is” — which he doesn’t believe is in urban centres anymore.

“Of course, the cost of city dwelling is a cruel barrier anyway,” said Charlebois, who’s a professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax. “More than that, there’s other reasons that are also important. When businesses close in areas where they were supposed to be forming villages or walkable communities, it impacts the kind of people that want to live in those cities and how much they actually spend. It’s a cycle.”

Loren Remillard, president and CEO of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, said that’s something he’s already seen with Osborne Village in Winnipeg before, when storefronts began to abruptly shut down a few years ago.

“We realized during that time, just how much businesses are more than businesses for livable communities — they’re really the fabric of what binds them together,” he said. “You couldn’t have Little Italy or Little India or even Sage Creek without the actual biz village concept thriving for those ethnographic neighbourhoods.”

Remillard said a continuous push is being made to get larger companies to headquarter in Winnipeg, “so that if and when acquisitions or mergers happen during devastating economic periods, we risk little when their main office is here.”

But as a policy expert, Bednar believes messaging from government has been a crucial part of what makes the future for urban business so frazzled. “It was so much easier just to tell everyone to move online and give them some subsidies to string along,” she said.

“Eventually, when this is finally over, what happens when we’re offline again? Can you actually market or promote tourism if you don’t have physical stores? It might be time to start changing how we’re thinking and talking about these things.”

Twitter: @temurdur

Temur.Durrani@freepress.mb.ca

Temur Durrani

Temur Durrani
Reporter

Temur Durrani reports on the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic for the Winnipeg Free Press. Funding for this Free Press reporting position comes from the Government of Canada through the Local Journalism Initiative.

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8 New Deaths, 99 New Cases Of COVID-19 In Windsor Essex On Friday – windsoriteDOTca News

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[unable to retrieve full-text content]

  1. 8 New Deaths, 99 New Cases Of COVID-19 In Windsor Essex On Friday  windsoriteDOTca News
  2. Some local leaders fear looming crisis as migrant workers start to arrive in Windsor-Essex  CBC.ca
  3. COVID Compliance Complaints Still Rolling In  AM800 (iHeartRadio)
  4. 8 additional deaths, 99 new COVID-19 cases in Windsor-Essex  CTV News Windsor
  5. Ontario’s enforcement tour coming to Windsor-Essex this weekend  CTV News Windsor
  6. View Full coverage on Google News



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