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Canadians feel better about money, worse about romance: Ipsos year-end poll – Global News

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Canadians are feeling somewhat better about their financial situation heading into a new year and decade, according to exclusive polling conducted by Ipsos for Global News.

“Two in three Canadians say their financial situation is good,” said Sean Simpson, vice president of Ipsos.

According to the poll data, 65 per cent of Canadians said they felt very good or somewhat good, a figure up four percentage points from one year ago.

The greatest barrier to the feeling of financial security is housing costs and debt, respondents said.

According to the new poll, 16 per cent of those polled said paying their mortgage or rent is the most significant obstacle to financial security. Servicing debt was identified by 14 per cent of respondents.


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In the debt category, credit card debt (13 per cent) was the greatest challenge, followed by student debt (one per cent).

But those living in Atlantic Canada identified credit card debt (21 per cent) as a much more significant obstacle.

More men (53 per cent) said they faced no barriers to financial security compared to women (47 per cent) who responded to the poll question.

Educated Canadians and men over 54 said they did not face barriers.

Higher-income Canadians with an average household income of $83,000 per year felt the most comfortable compared to households with an annual income of $60,000.

Albertans are more likely than other Canadians to describe their financial situation as very or somewhat “bad.”

According to the poll, 49 per cent of Albertans described their financial situation negatively, 14 points higher than the national average.

Forty per cent of those living in Saskatchewan and Manitoba felt financially squeezed compared to 37 per cent in Ontario, 30 per cent in British Columbia and 29 per cent in Quebec.

The most financially contented Canadians are in Atlantic Canada at 23 per cent.

“Roughly eight in 10 Canadians say they’re in a good place,” Simpson said in an interview.

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A majority of Canadians (57 per cent) told Ipsos they faced some financial challenges in 2019.

The poll revealed 38 per cent of Canadians reduced non-essential spending, like travel or entertainment. Another 28 per cent said they had reduced spending on essential items, including food or clothing.

Albertans (38 per cent) claimed to have cut essential spending in 2019.

Nationally, 43 per cent of respondents said they did not cut spending in any way.


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While many Canadians are feeling better about their financial security, it may be at the expense of their romantic life.

“It’s interesting to note an inverse relationship between one’s financial situation and one’s sex life,” said Simpson.

The Ipsos poll found that 59 per cent of Canadians rate their sex or romantic life as good. That’s a three percentage point decline over the last year.

Those who live in Ontario are the least satisfied (51 per cent) compared to Canadians living in Atlantic Canada (65 per cent) and B.C. (66 per cent).

Canadians most satisfied with their romantic life are in Quebec (67 per cent).

Simpson suggests there may be a correlation between financial satisfaction and declining romantic happiness.

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“Maybe people are reining in their spending, maybe they’re not going out for that romantic dinner, buying the box of chocolates or bouquet of flowers and their sex life is suffering as a result.”

This Ipsos poll, conducted on behalf of Global News, was an online survey of 1,002 Canadians conducted between Dec. 3 and 5, 2019. The results were weighted to better reflect the composition of the adult Canadian population, according to census data. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is considered accurate to within plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Canada extends 3 COVID-19 supports for businesses until June – Global News

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The Canadian federal government announced Wednesday it will extend multiple critical COVID-19 emergency benefits aimed at helping businesses during the pandemic.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy Canada, as well as the Lockdown Support programs, will maintain their current rates until June 5, 2021.

“Times are hard,” he said. “We’re here to provide you with the support you will need to make it through this crisis, as long as it lasts.”

Read more:
Feds audit landlords who received coronavirus rent aid as new program faces scrutiny

The extension means the maximum wage subsidy rate for employees still on payroll will remain at 75 per cent. For the rent subsidy program, the rate will remain at 65 per cent. The Lockdown Support program will remain at 15 per cent.

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This will provide “hard-hit businesses with rent support of up to 90 per cent,” Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland added.

She said the trio of programs are being extended because the economy is still struggling even with encouraging signs of a recovery on the horizon.

“Even if we have seen encouraging signs of a recovery, including higher growth forecast in the fourth quarter of 2020, we are not yet at the end of it,” she said in French.


Click to play video 'Calgary landlord offers tenants rent relief with new ‘COVID clause’ in leases'



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Calgary landlord offers tenants rent relief with new ‘COVID clause’ in leases


Calgary landlord offers tenants rent relief with new ‘COVID clause’ in leases – Dec 15, 2020

Ottawa has paid out more than $66 billion in wage subsidies and $1.6 billion in rent subsidies, according to official data.

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Freeland said the cost of extending these programs were already set out in estimates published back in November.

“Our approach is very cautious,” she said. “We had already anticipated in the forecast that it might be necessary to do what we announced today.”

Read more:
Canadian small businesses seeking overhaul to government relief programs

Extending the rent program to June will cost an additional $2.1 billion, Freeland said. For the wage subsidy program, the additional cost would come at an approximate $13.9 billion.

“I would add, these are programs that depend, in fact, on the situation Canadian businesses face. The level of assistance will depend on business revenues,” she continued in French.

“So we will spend less if the economy is stronger and we will spend more if the economy is weaker and if businesses need further assistance.”

— with a file from Reuters

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Canada extends 3 COVID-19 supports for businesses until June – Global News

Published

 on


The Canadian federal government announced Wednesday it will extend multiple critical COVID-19 emergency benefits aimed at helping businesses during the pandemic.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy Canada, as well as the Lockdown Support programs, will maintain their current rates until June 5, 2021.

“Times are hard,” he said. “We’re here to provide you with the support you will need to make it through this crisis, as long as it lasts.”

Read more:
Feds audit landlords who received coronavirus rent aid as new program faces scrutiny

The extension means the maximum wage subsidy rate for employees still on payroll will remain at 75 per cent. For the rent subsidy program, the rate will remain at 65 per cent. The Lockdown Support program will remain at 15 per cent.

Story continues below advertisement

This will provide “hard-hit businesses with rent support of up to 90 per cent,” Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland added.

She said the trio of programs are being extended because the economy is still struggling even with encouraging signs of a recovery on the horizon.

“Even if we have seen encouraging signs of a recovery, including higher growth forecast in the fourth quarter of 2020, we are not yet at the end of it,” she said in French.


Click to play video 'Calgary landlord offers tenants rent relief with new ‘COVID clause’ in leases'



1:53
Calgary landlord offers tenants rent relief with new ‘COVID clause’ in leases


Calgary landlord offers tenants rent relief with new ‘COVID clause’ in leases – Dec 15, 2020

Ottawa has paid out more than $66 billion in wage subsidies and $1.6 billion in rent subsidies, according to official data.

Story continues below advertisement

Freeland said the cost of extending these programs were already set out in estimates published back in November.

“Our approach is very cautious,” she said. “We had already anticipated in the forecast that it might be necessary to do what we announced today.”

Read more:
Canadian small businesses seeking overhaul to government relief programs

Extending the rent program to June will cost an additional $2.1 billion, Freeland said. For the wage subsidy program, the additional cost would come at an approximate $13.9 billion.

“I would add, these are programs that depend, in fact, on the situation Canadian businesses face. The level of assistance will depend on business revenues,” she continued in French.

“So we will spend less if the economy is stronger and we will spend more if the economy is weaker and if businesses need further assistance.”

— with a file from Reuters

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Wednesday – CBC.ca

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The latest:

Quebec Premier François Legault is expected to announce updated COVID-19 restrictions later Wednesday that will apply after March 8.

Quebec reported the lowest daily number of new COVID-19 infections since September on Tuesday morning.

Health Minister Christian Dubé, however, told reporters on Tuesday that he is scared about the spread of new coronavirus variants, particularly in the Montreal area, and that it may be the calm before the storm. 

Quebec allowed movie theatres, arenas and some indoor swimming pools to reopen last Friday, a move intended to offer activities for families during the province’s spring break week, which began Monday.

An 8 p.m. curfew and a ban on private gatherings remain in effect in southern Quebec — including in Montreal and Quebec City. A 9:30 p.m. curfew applies in the rest of the province, except the northern region of Nunavik.

-From The Canadian Press, last updated at 6:40 a.m. ET


What’s happening across Canada

WATCH | Some provinces won’t give AstraZeneca to seniors, could change rollout plans:

Several provinces are signalling they will follow the recommendation of Canada’s vaccine advisory body and not give the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine to seniors, creating a shift away from a high-priority group despite Health Canada’s advice that the vaccine is safe and effective. 2:29

As of 12:40 p.m. ET, Canada had reported 874,443 cases of COVID-19, with 30,060 cases considered active. A CBC News tally of deaths stood at 22,081.

In Quebec, health officials reported 729 new cases of COVID-19 and 19 additional deaths on Wednesday. Hospitalizations in the province stood at 618, with 120 COVID-19 patients in intensive care, the province reported.

Ontario on Wednesday reported 958 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and 17 additional deaths. Hospitalizations in the province stood at 668, with 274 COVID-19 patients in intensive care units.

In Atlantic Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador reported three new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 stood at nine, health officials said.

Prince Edward Island reported one new case of COVID-19 on Wednesday, as the chief public health officer said there was no evidence of widespread community transmission in the province.

Dr. Heather Morrison said the province is not yet out of the woods, warning that the province is still susceptible to the importation of COVID-19.

“Let us proceed cautiously, and let us continue to be patient and kind,” she said.

 Newfoundland and Labrador reported five new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, including one in a health-care worker. There were four new cases reported Tuesday in New BrunswickHealth officials in Nova Scotia, meanwhile, reported one new case

Across the NorthNunavut had no new cases to report on Wednesday. Health officials in Yukon and the Northwest Territories had not yet reported updated figures for the day.

WATCH | Industrial workplaces remain a concern as COVID-19 variants spread:

As variants of concern continue to spread, workers in industrial settings remain a big risk. In Peel Region, a major manufacturing centre outside Toronto, many precautions aren’t followed and the lack of sick days is still a major hurdle for employees. 5:25

In the Prairie provinces, Manitoba reported 64 new cases and eight additional deaths. The Manitoba government is loosening some of its COVID-19 restrictions as its case numbers continue to drop. Starting Friday, people will be allowed to have another entire household visit in their home, and outdoor public gatherings can increase to 10 people from five.

In neighbouring Saskatchewan, health officials reported 134 new cases of COVID-19 and two additional deaths. 

Alberta reported 257 new cases of COVID-19 and two additional deaths on Tuesday. Hospitalizations stood at 261, with 54 people in intensive care units. 

British Columbia, meanwhile, reported 438 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, as well as two more deaths. The update came as the province’s top doctor said the decision to delay second doses of COVID-19 vaccine by four months is based on scientific evidence as well as real-world data.

Dr. Bonnie Henry said the data shows protection from a single dose is upwards of 90 per cent and lasts for several months, and delaying second doses will maximize the benefit of vaccines for everyone while reducing mortality and severe illness for those most at risk.

-From The Canadian Press and CBC News, last updated at 12:45 p.m. ET


What’s happening around the world

Nurse Salome Nkoana, acting operational manager of the COVID-19 ward at the Tembisa Hospital, puts on her personal protective equipment in South Africa, the hardest-hit country in Africa. (Guillem Sartoria/AFP/Getty Images)

As of early Wednesday morning, more than 114.8 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, with more than 64.9 million cases considered recovered, according to a tracking tool maintained by Johns Hopkins University. The global death toll stood at more than 2.5 million.

In the Asia-Pacific region, the first batch of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine has arrived in Taiwan.

Taiwan has signed contracts securing 10 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, 5.05 million doses of the Moderna vaccine and 4.76 million doses of vaccines through COVAX. Wednesday’s delivery had 117,000 doses, which was transported from the airport with a police escort.

Health-care workers, especially those who have direct contact with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases, will be the first to get the shots, Taiwan’s Health Minister Chen Shih-chung said at a news briefing. The island has yet to announce a mass vaccination campaign for the general public.

Indonesia has detected two cases of the more infectious COVID-19 variant first discovered in Britain, marking a potential new complication for the country.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga says he is considering extending an ongoing state of emergency for the Tokyo region for about two weeks, amid concerns that infections have not slowed enough and are continuing to strain health systems in the region.

Suga had declared a month-long state of emergency in Jan. 7 for Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba, then extended the measure through to March 7. The measure issued for up to 10 other urban prefectures later in January was lifted last week, underscoring the government’s eagerness to allow businesses to return to normal as soon as possible.

In the Americas, U.S. President Joe Biden is directing states to prioritize vaccinating all teachers during the month of March, and announced that the federal government will help in the effort through its partnership with retail pharmacies.

Biden said his goal is for every pre-kindergarten through 12th grade educator, school staff member and child-care worker to receive at least one shot by the end of March. To achieve this, Biden announced that qualifying individuals will be able to sign up this month to be vaccinated at a pharmacy near them.

Biden said that while schools are safe to reopen even before staff have been vaccinated, “time and again, we’ve heard from educators and parents that have anxieties about that,” so to “accelerate” the safe reopening teachers should be prioritized.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued the most sweeping rollback of restrictions of any U.S. state on Tuesday, lifting a mask mandate and saying most businesses may open at full capacity next week, while Michigan and Louisiana also announced a loosening of restrictions.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said that 500,000 doses of China’s Sinopharm coronavirus vaccine had arrived in the South American country, along with protective material for medical personnel.

In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia’s health ministry has ruled that only people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 will be allowed to attend the hajj this year, Saudi newspaper Okaz reported.

In Europe, Spain revised downward its tally of coronavirus cases on Tuesday after eliminating those registered twice in the region of Catalonia.

A man leaves after being vaccinated against the coronavirus during a mass vaccination campaign at the former bullring of Donostia Arena in San Sebastian, in the Basque region of Spain, on Tuesday. (Ander Gillenea/AFP/Getty Images)

German leaders are looking for ways to ease the country out of a long-running coronavirus lockdown, which they are expected to extend on Wednesday while also opening the door to relaxing some restrictions.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and the country’s 16 state governors, who in highly decentralized Germany have the power to impose and lift restrictions, are expected to extend the shutdown in principle by three weeks until March 28. But they are looking for ways to balance concern over the impact of more contagious coronavirus variants with a growing clamour for a return to a more normal life.

The first measures already have been taken: many elementary students returned to school a week ago. And on Monday, hairdressers opened after a 2½-month break.

Some German states also allowed businesses such as florists and hardware stores to open on Monday. Most stores have been closed nationwide since Dec. 16. Restaurants, bars, and sports and leisure facilities have been closed since Nov. 2 and hotels are allowed only to accommodate business travellers.

When they last conferred on Feb. 10, Merkel and the governors set a target of 35 weekly new cases per 100,000 inhabitants before letting small stores, museums and other businesses reopen. The aim is to enable reliable contact tracing.

But reaching that target soon has appeared increasingly unrealistic as cases of the more contagious variant first detected in Britain increase, with overall infections creeping slightly higher. The cases-per-week number, which peaked at nearly 200 per 100,000 inhabitants just before Christmas, has been stalled above 60 in recent days.

Wedding gown boutique owner Imma Caiano serves customer Denise Magmer and her mother, Sylvia, as her shop reopens after a months-long lockdown in Bad Kreuznach, near Mainz, Germany, on Tuesday. (Ralph Orlowski/Reuters)

Governors and others have called for Wednesday’s video conference to produce step-by-step opening plans that would allow some, albeit cautious, relaxation of restrictions on a regional basis well above the target of 35 — possibly with the help of rapid tests.

Germany has seen the number of deaths from COVID-19 and people in intensive care decline in recent weeks. But it has been struggling to ramp up its vaccination drive, which has drawn widespread criticism for being too slow, even as the supply of vaccines improves. German lawmakers have ditched plans for hefty fines for people who skip the vaccine queue.

Portugal had its fewest COVID-19 patients in hospital in four months on Tuesday, as its prime minister warned that enforcing lockdown curbs remained essential in a country that topped global death rates a month ago.

In Africa, more countries received the long-awaited first deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines on Wednesday, with Kenya and Rwanda benefiting from the global COVAX initiative that aims to ensure doses for the world’s low- and middle-income nations.

African and other health officials have been frustrated with the sight of a handful of rich countries rolling out vaccines after snapping up large amounts for themselves.

“We will be known as the continent of COVID,” if Africa doesn’t quickly reach its target of vaccinating 60 per cent of its population of 1.3 billion people, the director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, John Nkengasong, said last week. The continent last month surpassed 100,000 confirmed deaths.

So far Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Angola and Congo also have received their first vaccine doses via COVAX, with several other countries including Mali, Senegal, Malawi and Uganda set to receive them this week.

Rwanda is becoming the first African nation to receive the Pfizer vaccine via COVAX. The vaccine needs storage at ultra-cold temperatures, making rollout complex in hot countries and rural areas, for example. COVAX has faced delays related to the severely limited global supply of vaccine doses as well as logistical issues.

And COVAX alone will not supply Africa’s 54 countries with the doses needed to reach the 60 per cent population coverage for achieving so-called herd immunity, when enough people are protected through infection or vaccination to make it difficult for a virus to continue to spread.

That’s why some countries such as South Africa, the hardest-hit African nation, are also pursuing COVID-19 vaccines via bilateral deals or via the African Union’s bulk-purchasing program.

-From The Associated Press and Reuters, last updated at 9:45 a.m. ET

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