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Concerns over safety, confusion over rollout of Ontario's pharmacy testing plan – Ottawa Citizen

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Patients can look up test results online, similar to the public health reporting sites, and positive cases will receive a call both from the pharmacist and from Public Health.

Staff at The Medicine Shoppe pharmacy on Canotek Road, one of the 60 pharmacies in Ontario designated for testing, said they would be offering testing to people after-hours, and would likely roll out testing this weekend.

The Cedarview Guardian pharmacy on Strandherd Drive said it was working toward offering testing but would not be ready for Friday.

Rexall, with one location in Orléans designated for testing, did not return a request for comment Thursday.

Hurley said the government should be working to expand capacity at existing assessment centres rather than engaging private companies in testing.

“You already have hospitals running assessment centres, where the only people going in there are professionals, well-equipped, regulated and supported by people in infection control. There’s intense cleaning and the only thing going on in those environments is testing,” Hurley said.

“With pharmacies, there’s whole side industry selling groceries, but a lot of the clientele who are going to a pharmacy are people with medical conditions, or people who are elderly who are going in to pick up prescriptions, and they’re not people who can afford to contract coronavirus,” Hurley said. “The idea you would use a commercial facility to test people seems really unwise, and I can’t imagine this is the safest alternative.

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Gold price off its lows as ECB signals further stimulus in December – Kitco NEWS

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(Kitco News)Gold prices remain under pressure, but well off their session lows after the European Central Bank (ECB) signaled it would unleash new monetary policy stimulus measures in December as the European economy continues to feel the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

ECB president Christine Lagarde said in a press conference following the ECB s monetary policy decision that it is clear the European economy will need further support as a second wave of the coronavirus forces countries to institute new lockdown measures.

We have little doubt that circumstances will warrant a recalibration and implementation of monetary policy,” she said.

The dovish outlook is helping gold prices recover from Wednesday sharp selloff. Panic selling has swept through financial markets this week as investors shift their expectations on global growth. December gold futures last traded at $1,871.80 an ounce, down 0.39% on the day.

The comments come as the ECB continues to see significant risk to the European economy heading into the new year. Wednesday, both France and Germany announced new lockdown measures as both countries have seen a surge in new COVID-19 infections.

The risks surrounding the euro area growth outlook are clearly tilted to the downside,” Lagarde said in her opening remarks. This largely reflects the recent resurgence in COVID-19 infections, the associated intensification of containment measures and a highly uncertain timeline of the pandemic and its implications for economic and financial conditions.”

Lagarde said that the staff are currently analyzing its programs ahead of December s meeting. The December meeting will also see the release of the central bank s updated economic projections. She added that this recalibration will touch on all of the central bank s tool to find the best mix to support lending conditions and the European economy.

On the basis of this updated assessment, the Governing Council will recalibrate its instruments, as appropriate, to respond to the unfolding situation and to ensure that financing conditions remain favorable to support the economic recovery and counteract the negative impact of the pandemic on the projected inflation path,” Lagard said.

Lagarde s dour outlook came after the ECB said that it maintained its interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will remain unchanged at 0.00%, 0.25%, and -0.50%, respectively.

The central bank also said that it would maintain the current pace of its emergency stimulus measures.

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Exxon Fails To Raise Dividend For The First Time In 38 Years – OilPrice.com

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Exxon Fails To Raise Dividend For The First Time In 38 Years | OilPrice.com

Josh Owens

Josh Owens

Josh Owens is the Content Director at Oilprice.com. An International Relations and Politics graduate from the University of Edinburgh, Josh specialized in Middle East and…

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ExxonMobil is keeping its quarterly fourth-quarter dividend flat at $0.87 per share – the first time in 38 years that the company has failed to increase the dividend that it has been paying for more than 100 years.    

Exxon, which is reporting Q3 earnings on Friday, had increased its dividend in Q1 ad Q2 this year, despite the oil price crash and the back-to-back losses that it reported for the first and second quarters. Exxon, as well as Chevron, hadn’t touched shareholder payouts, unlike their European rivals Shell, Equinor, BP, and Eni, which slashed dividends earlier this year amid massive losses in Q1 and Q2 following the price and demand crash and reductions in oil price assumptions for both the short and the long term.

Analysts have been wondering how long Exxon would be able to keep raising its dividend and continue to be one of the so-called dividend aristocrats, companies that have continuously increased dividends for 25 years or more.

“We have doubts about the sanctity of the dividend longer-term,” Jennifer Rowland, an analyst with Edward Jones, told Reuters.

“There is greater potential for a dividend reduction in 2021 if demand doesn’t fully recover,” Rowland added.

Related: The Car Giants That Knew About Climate Change 50 Years Ago

While not cutting the dividend, Exxon is not lifting the payouts to shareholders for the first time since 1982, suggesting that the supermajor has exhausted many of the other options to cut costs.

For the third quarter, Exxon is set to post its third straight loss in its upstream business this year as lower oil demand continues to hurt oil companies’ profitability.

For the second quarter, Exxon reported at the end of July its second consecutive quarterly loss, which was the worst loss for the U.S. supermajor in its modern history.

By Josh Owens for Oilprice.com

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Ontario premier wants to take 'surgical approach' to next group of shutdowns in hot spots – CTV Toronto

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TORONTO —
Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he wants to take a “surgical approach” to shutdowns in the province’s COVID-19 hot spots when deciding if regions need to remain in a modified Stage 2.

“We need to take a surgical approach,” Ford said, while making an announcement in Barrie, Ont. on Thursday. “I’ve always said this, some regions are very large geographical areas.”

Ford wouldn’t say whether Toronto, Peel Region, Ottawa or York Region would be moved back into Stage 3 of the province’s reopening plan. All four regions were placed into a modified Stage 2 for 28 days because of their rising infection rate. 

The modified Stage 2 forces indoor dining to close, as well as movie theatres and gyms.

The 28-day period expires for Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa on Nov. 7, while York Region is a week later.

Ford used Peel Region as an example of why he thinks a surgical approach needs to be taken, saying while Mississauga and Brampton have seen an increase in COVID-19 cases, Caledon has not seen numbers spike at the same rates.

“Caledon, they’re complaining because the numbers are escalating in other regions,” Ford said. 

Ford said he’s “working with all the mayors and all the different regions” to decide on what restrictions will be lifted or kept in place when the 28-day period ends.

“We’re working on coming up with a safe plan with collaboration with all the local mayors and local health teams and then we’ll make a decision before this 28 days runs out.”

“The good news is we are seeing a little bit of a decline,” Ford said about COVID-19 cases in Ontario. “But make no mistake about it … do not let your guard down. It happened before and it just spiked up.”

Ford’s comment on the decline in cases comes as Ontario’s seven-day rolling average hit 899, which is a record high since the pandemic began.

Ontario’s four COVID-19 hot spots continue to have the highest number of COVID-19 infections.

Of the new cases reported on Thursday, 420 were in Toronto, 169 were in Peel Region, 95 were in York Region and 58 were in Ottawa.

Province launches ‘Ontario Made Consumer Directory’

Meanwhile, the Ontario government announced on Thursday that it has launched a new directory to make it easier for people to shop and support local businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Canadian Manufactures and Exporters (CME), with the support of the Ontario government, launched the “Ontario Made Consumer Directory.”

Ford said that promoting Ontario-made products will help support “good-paying jobs” in the future. 

People can find made-in-Ontario products on the government’s new website SupportOntarioMade.ca

“I’m proud to support this new CME campaign to encourage Ontarians to look for the ‘Ontario Made’ label when shopping,” Ford said. 

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