Manitoba is stepping up enforcement of COVID-19 restrictions as it tries to tamp down the spread of the novel coronavirus, while Alberta’s top doctor is warning that more restrictions could be coming unless the province sees case numbers “decline dramatically” in the days ahead.
Premier Brian Pallister on Thursday backed away from the idea of imposing a curfew in the Winnipeg area, saying the province will spend money to step up enforcement around existing restrictions first.
“There will be consequences for people when they put others in danger, when they put themselves in danger,” Pallister said at a Thursday briefing.
Pallister said that 277 more personnel, including fire safety inspectors, motor carrier enforcement officers and municipal bylaw officers will help make sure public health orders are followed. That brings the total number of enforcers to more than 3,000.
The province has seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases in recent days — health officials reported 427 new cases and four more deaths on Thursday — and hospitalization numbers have been climbing.
In Alberta, Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw warned that more restrictions could be coming as the province reported a record high number of new cases.
“Unless our numbers decline dramatically in the next few days, we will have to consider additional measures,” she said.
The province wasn’t able to provide an exact number of new cases Thursday because of technical issues, but the range provided was well over its previous one-day record of 622.
“I can tell you that about 800 new cases have been identified in the last 24 hours,” Hinshaw said, noting that there are nine hospitals in Alberta dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks.
Faced with mounting case numbers, the province is looking to hire more contact tracers to help existing staff. A spokesperson for Alberta Health Services said there are currently 800 people working with the contact tracing team, and AHS is looking to hire “approximately 380 additional staff” in the coming weeks.
British Columbia also saw a record high daily case number on Thursday as health officials reported 425 new cases of COVID-19.
WATCH | Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about COVID-19 in Fraser Health region:
Most of the new cases reported by B.C. health officials were in the Fraser Health region, which covers an area east of Vancouver and includes communities like Burnaby and Surrey.
A statement from public health officials said there were 97 people hospitalized with COVID-19, including 24 in intensive care.
What’s happening across Canada
As of 11:50 a.m. ET on Friday, provinces and territories in Canada had reported a cumulative total of 253,475 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 210,024 cases as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 10,420.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday urged Canadians to be careful as winter approaches and people spend more time inside.
“We need to make sure we’re making it into winter on a good footing so we can hold on through winter.”
In Ontario, case numbers continued to rise a day after Premier Doug Ford’s government unveiled a much-anticipated budget after months of delay attributed to the global pandemic.
On Friday, the province reported 1,003 cases of COVID-19 and 14 new deaths.
Ontario is reporting 1,003 cases of <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVID19?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#COVID19</a>. Locally, there are 300 new cases in Toronto, 280 in Peel and 125 in York Region. There are 949 more resolved cases and nearly 41,300 tests completed.<br> <br>Today’s numbers will be available at 10:30 a.m. at <a href=”https://t.co/ypmgZbVRvn”>https://t.co/ypmgZbVRvn</a>.
Provincial figures updated Friday put the number of people in hospital at 380, with 86 in intensive care.
Quebec on Friday reported 1,133 new cases of COVID-19 and 25 new deaths — including five in the last 24 hours. According to the data on the provincial dashboard, there were 539 people in hospital, with 77 in ICU.
Saskatchewan also reported a record high on Thursday, with 129 COVID-19 cases. According to health officials, many of the new cases were in Saskatoon and the area around Prince Albert.
Across the North, there were no new cases reported in Yukon, the Northwest Territories or Nunavut.
What’s happening around the world
As of Friday morning, more than 48.8 million of cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, with more than 32.2 million of those listed as recovered, according to a coronavirus tracking tool maintained by Johns Hopkins University. The global death toll stood at more than 1.2 million, the U.S.-based university reported.
The World Health Organization is looking at biosecurity around mink farms in countries around the world to prevent further “spillover events” after Denmark ordered a national mink cull because of an outbreak of coronavirus infections in the animals.
In the Americas, the U.S. has been dealing with a surge in cases, reporting more than 100,000 new daily cases two days in a row, according to numbers reported by the New York Times.
The American job market showed a burst of strength in October, with employers adding 638,000 jobs and the unemployment rate tumbling to 6.9 per cent. Still, the pace of hiring isn’t enough to rapidly soak up the millions of Americans who were thrown out of work by the pandemic recession.
It’s far from clear that employers can maintain — let alone increase — their pace of hiring. The job market and the overall economy are under intensified pressure from the accelerating pandemic.
On Thursday, the country broke another record in the seven-day rolling average for new cases, hitting nearly 90,000. Daily new cases were also on track for another day above 100,000, with surging numbers reported all around the country, including a combined nearly 25,000 in Texas, Illinois and Florida.
Latin American countries, including those that have brought down coronavirus transmission rates, should take heed of the second wave hitting much of Europe, a Pan American Health Organization official said.
In Europe, Portugal’s parliament approved a new state of emergency starting on Monday to fight the spread of the coronavirus that has put the health-care system under pressure.
The initial state of emergency, which under Portuguese law is limited to 15 days but can be extended indefinitely in 15-day periods, was declared in March and lasted six weeks. It restricted the movement of people and led thousands of businesses to suspend activities.
Germany’s health minister has warned of hard times ahead unless the country can “break” the rising trajectory of coronavirus cases. Jens Spahn told lawmakers in parliament on Friday that “the situation is serious,” noting that the number of COVID-19 patients being treated in the country’s intensive care units has doubled in the last 10 days.
“As of today, the health system can cope with this,” he said. “But a doubling every 10 days is something the best health system in the world can’t cope with in the long term.”
Germany’s disease control agency reported a new record of more than 21,500 confirmed infections in the country in the past day, and 166 further deaths.
Russia’s daily number of new coronavirus infections topped 20,000 Friday, setting a new record since the beginning of the pandemic. Russia’s tally of confirmed coronavirus cases — currently the fourth largest in the world — has exceeded 1.7 million following a quick spread of contagion since September. The government’s coronavirus task force has reported 29,887 deaths since March.
Despite new daily records, authorities insist there is no need to impose a second lockdown or shut down businesses nationwide. They argue that the health-care system is capable of handling a surge in infections. Russian media, however, have reported on overwhelmed hospitals, drug shortages and inundated medical workers in some regions, indicating that the health-care system is under significant strain.
Austria warned that all its COVID-19 intensive care beds could be full within two weeks because of the “much stronger, more serious” second wave of infections.
Oslo has shut down restaurants, cafés, bars, gyms, cinemas and theatres to help curb the coronavirus. On Friday, officials in the Norwegian capital introduced what they called a “social closure of Oslo.”
Mayor Raymond Johansen said that to bring down the infection rates, “we must shut down where people gather.” However, schools will remain open.
Slovenian police said they detained 10 people following violent protests in the capital Ljubljana against lockdown measures designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
In the Asia-Pacific region, South Korea has alerted about 1,000 people who attended the memorial of the late Samsung Group patriarch Lee Kun-hee last week to get tested for the coronavirus after one person at the event tested positive.
India has recorded 47,638 new cases of the coronavirus, taking its total to 8.4 million.
Deaths rose by 670 in the last 24 hours, driving total fatalities to 124,985 on Friday, the health ministry data showed. India has the world’s second-highest caseload behind the United States. Even though the country has seen a steady dip in cases since mid-September, its capital is witnessing a surge in infections.
Health authorities in Thailand on Friday announced the country’s 60th death from COVID-19, a 66-year-old Thai man who was diagnosed with coronavirus after he returned from the United Kingdom. It was Thailand’s first coronvirus death since mid-September.
The U.S. mission in Geneva urged World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Friday to invite Taiwan to a major meeting the body is hosting next week that is expected to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Africa, the coronavirus pandemic is having a knock-on effect on other vital health services as countries are forced to redirect already stretched resources, a regional head of WHO said on Thursday. Lockdowns imposed by countries to halt the spread of the virus in May, June and July contributed to a more than 50 per cent drop in services monitored by WHO.
In Nigeria, for example, more than 362,000 pregnant women missed their antenatal care between March and August.
Iran remained the hardest-hit country in the Middle East, according to the Johns Hopkins tally. The country had more than 663,000 reported cases, with more than 37,400 deaths recorded.
7 Reasons Why America Loves Doing Business with Canada
Canada is one of the United States’ most important trading partners. According to the United States Census Bureau, Bureau of Economic Analysis, the US exports over $300B worth of goods and services to Canada annually. It also imports over $300B worth of goods and services from the country every year.
In fact, the trade relationship between the two North American countries is the biggest in the world. The two nations have traded for over 100 years. And a strong trade relationship is prosperous for both countries.
So, what makes Canada such an excellent trading partner for the United States? Here are a few good reasons:
1. Geographical Location
Canada shares a large border with the United States. Trading with Canada is easy by road, boat, or air. Most of the economic hotspots in Canada like Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary are just a short flight away from an American city.
2. Manufacturing Strengths
Canada has some exceptional exports thanks to its vast manufacturing strengths. Here are a few of its two products:
- Non-renewable Energy: Canada’s non-renewable energy exports like oil and gas are a significant part of its economy. Although falling gas prices have impacted this sector, Canada continues to depend on its gas and oil exports.
- Composite Manufacturing: You’ll find plenty of world-class options if you’re looking for advanced composite manufacturing in Canada regardless of your industry. The Canadian composite manufacturing industry serves many national and international clients in sectors such as defence, transportation, marine, aerospace, medical, industrial, energy, home appliances, construction, and more.
- Vehicle: Canada has a renowned automotive sector, producing light trucks, crossovers, SUVs, etc., with its technologically advanced factories. 95% of Canada’s automotive exports go to the United States.
- Aluminum: The Great White North produces some of the best quality aluminum in the world. The United States happens to be Canada’s biggest importer of aluminum.
- Meat and Dairy: Canada produces meat, beef, poultry, and dairy known for its quality. Unlike some countries, Canada doesn’t use harmful hormones in its meat industry.
3. Good Tax Treaties
Canada has many provisions that make business favourable for American companies. For example, a non-resident corporation that does not otherwise have a permanent establishment (PE) in Canada may do business without paying income tax on its profits. Canada also offers favourable corporate taxes, especially compared to the United States.
Aside from federal incentives, many provinces offer provincial incentives to do business in Canada. For example, many American films and TV shows are shot in Toronto because of lucrative tax enticements.
4. Favourable Exchange Rates
Not only is the Canadian dollar stable, but it usually hovers 20% lower than the United States. The favourable exchange rate makes it cost-effective for the United States to import goods and services from Canada.
However, the exchange rate isn’t so low that it discourages Canadians from travelling to the United States or buying American products. Many economists consider the exchange rate to be in the sweet spot.
5. Similar Culture
Canada speaks the same language, eats the same food, plays the same sports, and consumes the same entertainment. A similar coculture without language barriers makes it easier for Americans to do business with Canada.
Of course, there are some parts of Canada where French is the most popular language. Likewise, Spanish is more prevalent in certain places in the United States. However, these issues are easily overcome with business cards, translators, and technology.
6. Prominent Tech Industry
Many American technology companies are doing business with Canada because of the country’s prominence on the tech stage. For example, Toronto produces more tech occupations than the Bay Area, New York, and even Silicon Valley.
Toronto also has over 2,000 startups and over 14,000 tech companies. In the MaRS Center, Canada also has one of the world’s largest innovation hubs. Canada is also the first nation in the world to develop a national AI strategy. There are over 500 international AI firms in the country. The world’s biggest concentration of AI startups is in Canada.
Besides the national AI strategy, there is plenty of other support for tech development in the country that’s attractive to the United States. Canada invested $900m in high-tech innovation and funded startup incubators in 2015.
Additionally, Canada offers many tax breaks to companies for research and development. It also provides special visa programs for investors and entrepreneurs in the tech industry.
7. Qualified Labour Pool
Canada has the second-highest tertiary education levels worldwide for people between the ages of 25 and 34, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Canada’s highly skilled workforce stands at nearly 1.5 million people. Canada’s tech talent is also ranked highly for diversity.
These are just some of the many reasons why the United States enjoys doing business with Canada. Even with the economic climate changing, you can expect the partnership between the two countries to stand the test of time.
10 Ways to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Stand Out in 2021 – Part 2
Last week I provided 5 suggestions on how you can make your LinkedIn profile, which in 2021 is a non-negotiable must-have for job seekers, to stand out. The suggestions were:
- Add a headshot
- Create an eye-catching headline
- Craft an interesting summary
- Highlight your experience
- Use visual media
I’ll continue with my next 5 suggestions:
- Customize your URL
Your LinkedIn URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is the web address for your profile. The default URL will have your name and some random numbers and letters (https://www.linkedin.com/in/nick-kossovan-647e3b49). Customizing your profile URL (https://www.linkedin.com/in/nickkossovan/) makes your profile search engine friendly; therefore, you’re easier to find. As well a customized URL invites the person searching to make some positive assumptions about you:
- You’re detail oriented.
- You’re technologically savvy.
- You understand the power of perception (Image is everything!).
James Wooden, one of the most revered coaches in the history of sports, is to have said, “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”
To change your profile URL, go to the right side of your profile. There you’ll find an option to edit your URL. Use this option to make your URL concise and neat.
- Make connections
The more connections you have increases the likelihood of being found when hiring managers and recruiters, looking for potential candidates with your background, search on LinkedIn. Envision your number of connections as ‘the amount of gas in your tank.’
At the very least, you should aim to get over 500 connections. Anything below 500 LinkedIn will indicate your number of connections as an exact number (ex. 368). Above 500 connections, LinkedIn simply shows you have 500+ connections. Getting to 500 implies you’re a player on LinkedIn.
As much as possible, connect with individuals you know personally, have worked with, met in a professional capacity (tradeshow, conference), is in your city/region and industry/profession. If you’d like to connect with someone you haven’t met, send a note with your request explaining who you are and why you’d like to connect. (This’ll be my topic in next week’s column.)
- Ask for recommendations and skill endorsements
This is vital to making your profile stand out! Employers want to know that others think of your work.
When asking for a recommendation, or skill endorsements, think of all the people you’ve worked the past. Don’t just think of your past bosses; also think of colleagues, vendors, customers — anyone who can vouch for your work and professionalism.
Instructions on how to ask for, and give, a recommendation, can be found by going to the LinkedIn ‘Help’ field (Located by clicking on the drop-down arrow below the ‘Me’ icon in the upper right-hand corner.) and typing ‘Requesting a recommendation.’ Do the same for skill endorsements.
TIP: It’s good karma to write recommendations, and endorse skills, in return and to give unsolicited.
- Keep your profile active
LinkedIn is not simply an online resume — it’s a networking social media site. To get the most out of LinkedIn, you need to be constantly active (at least 3 times per week). Write posts and articles. Check out what is being posted, especially by your connections. Like and share posts that resonate with you. Engage with thoughtful comments that’ll put forward your expertise.
Join groups that align with your industry and professional interests. Groups are an excellent way to meet like-minded professionals with whom to network and share ideas and best practices.
- Check your LinkedIn profile strength
It’s in LinkedIn’s interest that you’re successful using their platform. Therefore, they’ve created a ‘Profile Strength Meter’ to gauge how robust your profile is. Basically, this gauge tells you completion level of your profile. Using the tips, you’ll be given, keep adding to your profile until your gauge rates you “All-Star.” For instructions on how to access your ‘Profile Strength Meter,’ use the LinkedIn’ Help’ field.
The 10 tips I offered is a starting point for building a LinkedIn profile that WOWs! Jobseekers need to make the most of their profile to stand out in a sea of candidates, sell their skills, and validate their accomplishments. Make it easy for the reader to get a feel for who you are professionally.
Nick Kossovan, a well-seasoned veteran of the corporate landscape, offers advice on searching for a job. You can send him your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Canadian National beats Canadian Pacific with $33.6 billion Kansas City bid
U.S. railway operator Kansas City Southern said on Thursday that it had accepted Canadian National Railway Co’s $33.6 billion acquisition offer, upending a $29 billion deal with its competitor Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd.
The development, first reported by Reuters, gives Canadian Pacific five business days to make a new offer for Kansas City Southern. Were Canadian Pacific to table a new offer, a bidding war could ensue.
Canadian Pacific had previously announced a deal to buy Kansas City Southern on March 21, before Canadian National said it had submitted a higher bid on April 20. The headline price in Canadian National’s cash-and-stock bid remains $325 per share as originally announced, though the company offered more of its shares to compensate for a decline in its stock price.
Canadian National has offered to cover the $700 million break-up fee Kansas City Southern will owe Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. It will also pay Kansas City Southern $1 billion if the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) rejects a voting trust structure it has put forward to complete the deal.
“We believe that Canadian Pacific’s negotiated agreement with Kansas City is the only true end-to-end Class I combination that is in the best interests of North American shippers and communities,” a Canadian Pacific spokeswoman said.
Canadian Pacific and larger rival Canadian National are in a race to take over the U.S. railroad operator, which would create the first direct railway linking Canada, the United States, and Mexico.
Either of them acquiring Kansas City Southern would create a North American railway spanning the United States, Mexico and Canada, as supply chains recover from COVID-19 pandemic-led disruptions.
The acquisition interest in Kansas City Southern also follows the ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement last year that removed the threat of trade tensions, which had escalated under former U.S. President Donald Trump.
The STB last week approved the voting trust for Canadian Pacific’s proposed acquisition. Canadian National has offered an identical arrangement.
(Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber, Aurora Ellis and Richard Chang)
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