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Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Monday – CBC News

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The latest:

Proof of vaccination against COVID-19 is now required to access big-box and other large-scale retail stores across Quebec.

Premier François Legault previously announced that Quebecers will have to show their vaccination passport starting today if they wish to enter stores with floor surfaces of 1,500 square metres or more.

The measure comes as Legault continues to focus measures on unvaccinated residents in an effort to curb COVID-19-related hospitalizations, which soared in recent weeks but have declined for the past four days in a row.

Proof-of-vaccination requirements do not apply to stores that primarily sell pharmacy or grocery products.

Quebec expanded its vaccination passport system last week to cannabis and liquor stores.

  • Have a coronavirus question or news tip for CBC News? Email: ask@cbc.ca

The province’s COVID-19 update posted Monday showed 3,299 hospitalizations — an increase of 16 from a day earlier. The number of people in intensive care units stood at 263 — down by 10 from a day earlier. 

Health officials in Quebec also reported 52 additional deaths and 2,807 additional lab-confirmed cases. Because of limits on PCR testing, officials in the province have cautioned that the number of new cases is likely significantly higher.

Junior Health Minister Lionel Carmant is set to announce a plan for unvaccinated Quebecers later this afternoon alongside Daniel Paré, the head of the province’s immunization campaign.

-From The Canadian Press and CBC News, last updated at 11:15 a.m. ET


What’s happening across Canada

WATCH | COVID-19: Children’s vaccinations and hospitalizations: 

COVID-19: Children’s vaccinations and hospitalizations

14 hours ago

Duration 8:11

Dr. Earl Rubin, Dr. Katrina Hurley and Dr. Natalie Bridge answer questions about children’s COVID-19 vaccination rates across the country, hospitalizations and Omicron symptoms in kids. 8:11

With lab-based testing capacity deeply strained and increasingly restricted, experts say true case counts are likely far higher than reported. Hospitalization data at the regional level is also evolving, with several provinces saying they will report figures that separate the number of people in hospital because of COVID-19 from those in hospital for another medical issue who also test positive for COVID-19.

For more information on what is happening in your community — including details on outbreaks, testing capacity and local restrictions — click through to the regional coverage below.

You can also read more from the Public Health Agency of Canada, which provides a detailed look at every region — including seven-day average test positivity rates — in its daily epidemiological updates.

In Central Canada, Ontario on Monday reported 3,861 hospitalizations, an increase of 64 from the previous day. According to the provincial COVID-19 dashboard, there were 615 people in the province’s intensive care units, up by 11 from a day earlier.

 The province also reported 37 additional deaths and 4,790 lab-confirmed cases.

In Atlantic Canada, New Brunswick health officials on Sunday reported two additional COVID-19-related deaths and 545 additional lab-confirmed cases. The province said a total of 126 people were in hospital, including 10 in intensive care units.

Prince Edward Island saw two additional COVID-19 related deaths over the weekend, bringing the number of deaths recorded on the island to six. The latest data from the province showed nine people in hospital with COVID-19.

Nova Scotia on Sunday said there were 85 people in hospital who were admitted due to COVID-19 and were receiving specialized care. Eleven people were in intensive care units, the province said in a statement, which noted that more than 200 others were in hospital with COVID-19, including those who had contracted the virus after they were admitted to hospital.

The province also reported an additional 503 lab-confirmed cases.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, 19 people were in hospital with COVID-19, health officials said in a tweet on Sunday. The province, which is set to send students back to classrooms later this week, also reported 361 new lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19.

WATCH | 3 teenagers who stepped up to help others during pandemic: 

3 teenagers who stepped up to help others during pandemic

14 hours ago

Duration 6:05

These three teenagers have stepped up to help others during the COVID-19 pandemic by delivering food, helping seniors with technology and providing homemade air filters. 6:05

In the Prairie provinces, Saskatchewan on Sunday said 252 people were in hospital, up from 244 a day earlier, the province’s COVID-19 dashboard showed. Of those, 26 patients were in intensive care units across the province. Health officials also reported 1,629 additional lab-confirmed cases.

Manitoba and Alberta are expected to provide updated information covering the weekend later on Monday.

Across the North, Nunavut on Sunday reported 26 additional cases of COVID-19. Health officials in Yukon and the Northwest Territories are expected to provide updated information about the state of the pandemic later Monday.

British Columbia health officials don’t report COVID-19 data over the weekend. An update covering the three-day period since Friday is expected later Monday.

-From CBC News and The Canadian Press, last updated at 11:15 a.m. ET


What’s happening around the world

WATCH | ‘Dangerous’ to assume Omicron last variant, says WHO: 

‘Dangerous’ to assume Omicron last variant, says WHO

5 hours ago

Duration 1:14

A much higher global vaccination rate is needed to thwart coronavirus variants and end the acute phase of the pandemic, says World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. 1:14

As of early Monday morning, more than 351.8 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. The reported global death toll stood at more than 5.5 million.

The head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is warning that conditions remain ideal for more coronavirus variants to emerge, saying it’s dangerous to assume Omicron is the last one or that “we are in the endgame.” Tedros also said the acute phase of the pandemic could end this year — if some key targets are met, including WHO’s target to vaccinate 70 per cent of the population of every country by the middle of this year.

“It’s true that we will be living with COVID for the foreseeable future and that we will need to learn to manage it through a sustained and integrated system for acute respiratory diseases” to help prepare for future pandemics, he said. “But learning to live with COVID cannot mean that we give this virus a free ride. It cannot mean that we accept almost 50,000 deaths a week from a preventable and treatable disease.”

WATCH | What can Canadian athletes expect in Beijing? 

Spirit of 2022 Olympics will lift athletes, says Le May Doan

1 hour ago

Duration 2:32

Canada’s athletes will enjoy the celebratory mood at the 2022 Beijing Olympics, says Catriona Le May Doan, the Chef de Mission. 2:32

In the Asia-Pacific region, Beijing’s city government introduced new measures to contain a recent outbreak of COVID-19, as China’s capital continued to report new local cases of the virus less than two weeks before it hosts the Winter Olympic Games.

India reported over 300,000 new COVID-19 infections for the fourth straight day, even though the caseload over the last 24 hours was slightly lower than a day before, data released by the government on Sunday showed.

In Europe, tens of thousands of people protested in Brussels, Belgium, against COVID-19 restrictions on Sunday, some clashing with police who fired water cannon and tear gas to disperse them near the European Commission’s headquarters.

A police officer walks by a damaged building in the European Union quarter during a demonstration against COVID-19 measures in Brussels on Sunday. Demonstrators gathered in the Belgian capital to protest what they regard as overly extreme measures by the government to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. (Geert Vanden Wijngaert/The Associated Press)

Russia on Monday reported a new record number of COVID-19 cases confirmed in the past 24 hours as the Omicron variant of the virus spread across the country, the government coronavirus task force said. Daily new cases jumped to 65,109, from 63,205 a day earlier. The task force also reported 655 deaths.

In Africa, health officials in South Africa on Sunday reported 1,931 new cases of COVID-19 and 114 additional deaths. 

In the Middle East, health officials in Iran on Monday said 21 people had died from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours. The country also reported 7,691 additional cases.

In the Americas, the United States — the World Health Organization’s top donor — is resisting proposals to make the agency more independent, four officials involved in the talks said, raising doubts on the Biden administration’s long-term support.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who recently recovered from his second infection, reassured Mexicans he was in good health following an overnight hospital stay.

-From Reuters, CBC News and The Associated Press, last updated at 10:55 a.m. ET

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Supreme Court of Canada to rule on sentencing for Quebec City mosque shooter

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OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada is slated to rule Friday on the sentencing of a man who went on a deadly shooting spree at a Quebec City mosque.

The decision in Alexandre Bissonnette’s case will determine the constitutionality of a key provision on parole eligibility in multiple-murder convictions.

As a result, it will also reverberate far beyond the case before the court.

In March 2021, a judge found Alek Minassian guilty of 10 counts of first-degree murder, three years after he smashed into people with a van on a busy Toronto sidewalk. The judge decided to delay sentencing until after the Supreme Court decision.

At issue is the tension between society’s denunciation of such horrific crimes and the notion of rehabilitation as a fundamental value in sentencing.

Bissonnette pleaded guilty to six charges of first-degree murder and six of attempted murder in the January 2017 mosque assault that took place just after evening prayers.

In 2019, Bissonnette successfully challenged a 2011 law that allowed a court, in the event of multiple murders, to impose a life sentence and parole ineligibility periods of 25 years to be served consecutively for each murder.

A judge found the provision unconstitutional but saw no need to declare it invalid and instead read in new wording that would allow a court to impose consecutive periods of less than 25 years.

Ultimately, the judge ruled Bissonnette must wait 40 years before applying for parole.

Quebec’s Court of Appeal agreed that the sentencing provision violated Charter of Rights guarantees of life, liberty and security of the person, as well as freedom from cruel or unusual punishment.

“Parliament’s response to the problem identified is so extreme as to be disproportionate to any legitimate government interest,” the Appeal Court said.

“The judge was therefore right to conclude that the scope of the provision is clearly broader than necessary to achieve the objectives of denunciation and protection of the public.”

The Appeal Court, however, said the judge erred in making the ineligibility period 40 years.

It declared the sentencing provision constitutionally invalid and said the court must revert to the law as it stood before 2011, meaning the parole ineligibility periods are to be served concurrently — resulting in a total waiting period of 25 years in Bissonnette’s case.

The Court of Appeal noted there is no guarantee the Parole Board would grant Bissonnette parole in 25 years.

“This will depend on the circumstances at the time, including the appellant’s level of dangerousness, his potential for rehabilitation and the manner in which his personality has evolved,” the court said.

“Furthermore, as with any parole, if it is granted, it will include the necessary conditions for adequately ensuring the security of the public, failing which it will not be granted.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 26, 2022.

 

Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press

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Minke whale carcass found northeast of Montreal is likely one seen near city: expert

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MONTREAL — A dead whale found in the St. Lawrence River northeast of Montreal is probably one of two minke whales seen near the city earlier this month, a marine researcher said Thursday.

Robert Michaud, president of a Quebec marine mammal research group, said experts have yet to examine the carcass found in Contrecoeur, Que., about 50 kilometres downstream from Montreal.

Michaud said a necropsy could be performed depending on that assessment, adding that the task would fall to veterinary medicine students at Université de Montréal.

Two minke whales were spotted this month near Montreal, and there were concerns for their well-being, as they were about 450 kilometres upstream of their usual range.

Minke whales are common in Quebec but don’t generally venture west of the saltwater St. Lawrence estuary around Tadoussac, Que.

Ronald Gosselin, one of the fishermen behind the discovery on Thursday morning, said he was in his boat fishing when he saw a bizarre shape in the water.

“In my life, I’ve seen maybe two or three whales, including one that beached in Contrecoeur,” Gosselin said.

A local fishing guide, Gosselin, 66, said whales are not a common sight in the area. He spotted the mammal floating in the St. Lawrence River near Île Saint-Ours.

The two Montreal whales had not been seen since mid-May.

It’s unclear why whales occasionally venture into freshwater habitats, but Michaud has said there isn’t much that can be done to help them besides hoping they turn around and head home.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 26, 2022.

 

The Canadian Press

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Murray Sinclair honoured with Order of Canada at Rideau Hall ceremony

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OTTAWA — Murray Sinclair received the Order of Canada Thursday for dedicating his life to championing Indigenous Peoples’ rights and freedoms.

Sinclair held his wife’s hand as the award was announced in Rideau Hall, and was met with a standing ovation as he rose to receive it.

Gov. Gen. Mary Simon presented Sinclair with the award at the ceremony, which was held several months after it was announced he would receive the honour.

By accepting the award, Sinclair wanted to show the country that working on Indigenous issues calls for national attention and participation, he said in an interview.

Sinclair, 71, said at his age he has begun to reflect on his life, and he realizes that he’s had both the joy and sadness that comes with participating in this work.

Receiving the award recognizes the importance of that work, and can act as inspiration for younger people, Sinclair said.

“When I speak to young people, I always tell them that we all have a responsibility to do the best that we can and to be the best that we can be,” he said.

Sinclair led the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which investigated the experiences of Indigenous children sent to residential schools.

Sinclair said it was a particular honour to receive the award from Simon, the first Indigenous Governor General, as she is a good friend and was an honorary witness to the commission.

“As an Indigenous person, we had a unique relationship. And I think we brought it to what happened here today,” he said.

The former senator is a highly respected voice on matters of reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

The Order of Canada is one of the country’s highest distinctions, for those who have made exceptional contributions to Canadian society.

Sinclair also received the Meritorious Service Cross for his role in overseeing the Truth and Reconciliation commission and producing the final report.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 26, 2022.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

 

Erika Ibrahim, The Canadian Press

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