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

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The latest:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is warning that Canada’s future hangs in the balance if people don’t reduce their contacts to prevent dire new COVID-19 projections from becoming a reality.

“This is the future of our country, this is the future of our children, it’s the future of our loved ones and our seniors, it’s our economy, it’s our businesses, it’s everything all together,” Trudeau said Friday.

Trudeau also warned that a “normal Christmas” this year is “right out of the question” with cases across the country spiking. National modelling is predicting a worst-case scenario of 60,000 cases per day by the end of the year.

An average of 4,800 cases are being reported daily, an increase of about 15 per cent from last week, said Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer.

WATCH | Dr. Tam on having ‘The Talk’ with relatives as holidays approach: 

Canada’s chief public health officer spoke with reporters during the pandemic briefing on Friday 2:13

“We are not on a good trajectory,” Tam said Friday. “I think across the board, across Canada, we have to say the time is now, with urgency, that we limit contacts.”

Toronto and the neighbouring Peel Region are going back into lockdown, as of Monday, and several other regions of Ontario are moving to higher restriction levels now that the province has surpassed 100,000 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.

The shutdown will last a minimum of 28 days, equal to two incubation periods for the coronavirus, and the province says it will fine people $750 for violating public-health rules.

WATCH | Ontario puts Toronto and Peel Region into lockdown:

Toronto and Peel Region will be are now in lockdown on Monday. No indoor gatherings with anyone outside the immediate household, are allowed. Businesses of all kinds are moving to takeout, delivery, curb-side service or closure and breaking the rules comes with fines. 3:43

Non-essential retail stores must close and only offer curbside pickup or delivery. Grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores, hardware stores and liquor outlets will stay open, operating at 50-per-cent capacity.

WATCH | Doctor concerned about gatherings, panic purchases ahead of lockdown:

CBC News medical contributor Dr. Peter Lin discusses the lockdown restrictions coming to Toronto and Peel region and whether they’ll be sufficient to address rising COVID-19 cases. 9:11

Schools and daycare centres will also remain open. Gyms, hair salons and other personal services must close. Restaurants can only offer takeout and delivery. Big-box retailers and discount stores that sell groceries will can remain open.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced up to $600 million in relief for business impacted by the new measures.

The province reported 1,418 more cases of COVID-19 on Friday, including 393 in Toronto, 400 in Peel Region and 168 in York Region. The newly confirmed infections push the seven-day average up to 1,373 after three straight days of declines.

Ontario also announced that eight more people with COVID-19 have died since the last update, bringing the official death toll to 3,451.

Quebec is planning ahead for the holiday season, with a focus on the period from Dec. 24-27. It recommends people keep social gatherings to no more than 10 people during that time. If they’re planning get-togethers, Premier François Legault says they should limit their contacts “as much as possible one week before and one week after.”

Quebec reported 1,259 new cases of COVID-19 and 32 more deaths on Friday, a day after Legault proposed a “moral contract” for the season.


What’s happening across Canada

Canada’s COVID-19 case count — as of Friday evening — stood at 320,719, with 52,739 of those considered active cases. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 11,334.

An Edmonton doctor says people coming into her hospital with COVID-19 are sicker than patients in the first wave. Dr. Neeja Bakshi helped set up the COVID-19 unit at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. She says medical staff are in danger of burnout as the number of new cases begin to spike in Alberta.

Alberta reported a record 1,155 new cases on Friday. Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province’s chief medical officer of health, also announced 11 more deaths.

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller announced $120.3 million in funding to support Indigenous communities and organizations in Alberta and Saskatchewan amid a recent spike in COVID-19 cases.

WATCH | Indigenous Services Ministers outlines funding priorities:

Surge capacity and infrastructure needs are the priority when allocating COVID-19 funds to First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities and organizations in Alberta and Saskatchewan, according to Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller. 2:59

Miller said he has been in contact with First Nations leaders in those provinces, and that today’s measures are in direct response to their requests.

“Listening to what people need has been a key part of the COVID-19 response for the Government of Canada to date and will continue to inform the way forward,” he said at a news conference.

British Columbia had 516 new COVID-19 cases and 10 more deaths on Friday, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

The new numbers come one day after Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced wide-ranging new restrictions.. They include mandatory masks in indoor public and retail spaces and restricting social gatherings for everyone in B.C. to household members only.

Alberta reported a record 1,155 new cases on Friday. Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province’s chief medical officer of health, also announced 11 more deaths.

Earlier, Trudeau urged Albertans to download the federal COVID-19 notification app, despite the fact Alberta and B.C. governments haven’t signed on.

Saskatchewan reported 153 new COVID-19 cases and one new death on Friday.

Manitoba surpassed 200 COVID-19 deaths on Friday as officials announced nine new deaths, including a Winnipeg man in his 20s — the youngest person in the province to have died from the virus

The province, which announced 438 new cases Friday, introduced new COVID-19 restrictions on Thursday that ban people from having anyone inside their home who doesn’t live there, with few exceptions, and businesses from selling non-essential items in stores.

In Atlantic Canada, new restrictions are coming into effect for most of the Halifax region starting Monday, and remaining in place until at least Dec. 21.

Households will be limited to five visitors, while outdoor gatherings are also limited to five people.

Halifax bar staff will be tested for COVID-19 over the next seven days, while restaurants and bars across the province will be required to collect information from their patrons.

Nova Scotia reported five new cases on Friday.

New Brunswick has announced new restrictions, moving Saint John from the yellow alert stage to the more rigorous orange alert and asking people to limit contacts to their own family bubbles, starting Saturday.

WATCH | Young adults living as if COVID-19 doesn’t exist, says N.S. premier:

Saying Nova Scotia has a problem with 18- to 35-year-olds who are spreading COVID-19 through social interactions, Premier Stephen McNeil unveiled targeted measures that come into effect on Monday to help stop transmission of the virus. 1:35

P.E.I. Health Minister James Aylward on Friday said the province can expect 26,000 to 30,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to arrive in less than two months.

Newfoundland and Labrador reported three new cases on Friday.

In the North, Nunavut health officials reported 10 more cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the number of cases in the territory to 84. 

A two-week territory-wide lockdown is currently in effect in an effort to get a handle on the outbreak and avoid overwhelming Nunavut’s small, isolated health-care centres.

Yukon recorded three new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing its total to 29. Dr. Brendan Hanley, the territory’s chief medical officer of health, said the three cases have been linked to a previous case, with contract tracing underway.

The Northwest Territories renewed a state of emergency for Yellowknife to clear the way for an emergency warming shelter in light of capacity limitations at other facilities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


What’s happening around the world

As of Saturday morning, there were more than 57.6 million reported cases of COVID-19 worldwide, with more than 36.9 million of those cases listed as recovered, according to a COVID-19 tracking tool maintained by Johns Hopkins University. The global death toll stood at more than 1.3 million.

In Asia, South Korea has so far managed to weather its COVID-19 epidemic without major lockdowns, relying instead on an aggressive test-and-quarantine campaign and mask-wearing. 

But the Korean Society of Infectious Diseases says the country could be reporting more than 1,000 new infections a day in a week or two if social distancing measures aren’t effectively strengthened.

South Korea has reported 386 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday. 

In Japan, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached a record for the third straight day at 2,418. Japan, with fewer than 2,000 deaths related to the virus, has been relatively successful at containing the damage from the pandemic with social distancing and the widespread use of masks. But worries are growing about another surge over the weekend.

In the Middle East, businesses were shuttered and travel curtailed between major cities in Iran on Saturday, including the capital of Tehran, as it grapples with the worst outbreak of the coronavirus in the Mideast region.

People walk in front of closed shops at Tehran’s Grand Bazaar, Iran’s main business and trade hub, on Saturday. (Vahid Salemi/The Associated Press)

Iran has recorded daily death tolls of above 430 over the past five days. Iran’s health ministry said on Saturday that the total number of confirmed cases has risen to above 840,000.

The new lockdown measures, which include shuttering most businesses, shops, malls, and restaurants, include Iran’s largest cities of Mashhad, Isfahan, and Shiraz. Iranian authorities have designated the nearly 160 towns and cities affected as hot spots because these urban centres have the highest daily per capita positive coronavirus test results.

In Europe, shopping centres will reopen in Poland from Saturday next week, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said, in a boost to retailers in the run-up to Christmas.

This is a temporary hospital for COVID-19 patients, which is under construction at the international industrial fair in Poznan, Poland. (Piotr Skornicki/Agencja Gazeta via Reuters)

The Polish government closed entertainment venues and some shops from Nov. 7 after a surge in COVID-19 cases, but infections have levelled off since then.

Morawiecki said schools would remain closed until Christmas. He urged Poles to spend the festive period only with their closest relatives in their households and not to travel.

Russia reported a daily record of  24,822 new coronavirus infections on Saturday, including 7,168  in the capital Moscow, bringing the national tally to 2,064,748.

Authorities also reported 467 coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the official death toll to 35,778.

Currently Russia is the fifth country in terms of the number of infections reported, behind the United States, India, Brazil, and France. 

The number deaths in the Czech Republic linked to COVID-19 doubled in November compared to October and passed the 7,000 mark, health ministry data showed on Saturday.

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International students still need quarantine plan at Canada border – Canada Immigration News

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Published on July 26th, 2021 at 05:00am EDT

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Although Canada has begun easing border measures, having a quarantine plan is still required at the border — even if you don’t actually use it.

Fully vaccinated travellers no longer have to quarantine for two weeks. Starting August 9, if you are fully vaccinated, you no longer need an on arrival test unless you get randomly selected. Canada currently only considers you to be “fully vaccinated” if it has been 14 days since you got the final dose of a vaccine that has been approved by Health Canada. These currently include: Pfizer, Moderna, Astra Zeneca, and Janssen. Otherwise, you are still considered unvaccinated.

Discover your options to study in Canada

The ninth of August also marks the end of hotel quarantine, where travellers have to pay to stay in a government-approved hotel.

All that being said, you still have to show up to the border with a suitable quarantine plan in case the border officer determines you do not meet the exemption. The federal government issued a presser specifically for international students coming to Canada this fall, reminding them of what they need to do in order to travel to Canada.

Who can enter Canada to study

There are two things you need to come to Canada as a student:

Students coming from India will have to navigate the ban on direct flights. Canada has suspended direct flights between the two countries until at least August 21. Those travelling from India can take an indirect route, but will need a pre-departure COVID-19 test from a third country before coming to Canada.

Quarantine plan

Your should already have a plan to manage the quarantine period for international students as part of its COVID-19 readiness plan. They should also allow you access to food and medicine during your stay. Contact your school for help in developing your quarantine plan before you depart for Canada.

After that, you have to submit your plan to border officials through the ArriveCAN app. This app has been used throughout the pandemic for officer-traveller communication, and it is where you submit all the documents you will need for travel.

Again, you still need a quarantine plan even if you are considered fully vaccinated. Your proof of vaccination must be in English or French, or else you need a certified translation.

Rules subject to change

Health officials are continuing to monitor the coronavirus situation in Canada and around the world. Any change to border measures falls under Health Canada’s responsibility. Other departments, such as the Canadian border, works to implement the health department’s recommendations.

While international travel restrictions fall under the federal governments purview, provincial governments are responsible for their own healthcare systems. The federal government offers a list of each provincial government’s website, which include measures for travellers. Your learning institution will also have its own COVID rules and regulations.

Discover your options to study in Canada

© CIC News All Rights Reserved. Visit CanadaVisa.com to discover your Canadian immigration options.

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Mary Simon to be officially installed as governor general today – CBC.ca

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Join CBC News for live coverage Monday of the installation of Mary Simon as Canada’s first Indigenous governor general.


Mary Simon officially becomes Canada’s first Indigenous governor general today in a ceremony at the Senate building in Ottawa.

Simon — an Inuk from Kuujjuaq in northeastern Quebec — was tapped by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to fill the role earlier this month.

The swearing-in ceremony will, for the first time, be conducted in both English and Inuktitut and broadcast in eight Indigenous languages on CBC Radio.

CBC’s chief political correspondent Rosemary Barton will host coverage of Monday’s event from Ottawa on CBC News Network, CBC TV, and CBC Gem beginning at 10 a.m. ET.

Viewers can also follow the event on CBCnews.ca and on Facebook. CBC Indigenous Facebook is hosting the English stream, CBC Nunavut Facebook is hosting the Inuktitut stream, and CBC North Facebook is sharing both.

Following the ceremony, Simon will visit the National War Memorial to inspect a guard of honour and lay flowers in honour of Canada’s war dead — her first act as the Queen’s representative in Canada.

Simon took her first step into the official role Thursday when she spoke with the Queen.

In a short clip of the online conversation that was posted on The Royal Family’s Instagram account, the Queen said it was good to speak with Simon and told her she was “taking over a very important job.”

“Yes, I’m very privileged to be able to do this work over the next few years,” Simon said. “I think it’s vitally important for our country.”

Indigenous leaders — particularly representatives of the Inuit community — have praised the appointment.

“To see somebody like Mary Simon, who is an unquestioned Indigenous leader in this country and has been for decades, be recognized for her leadership and her service in taking on this new responsibility as governor general was something that was really powerful,” Natan Obed, the president of the national Inuit group Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), told CBC earlier this month.

But concerns have been raised about Simon’s ability to speak French.

While she is fully fluent in English and Inuktitut, Simon is not fluent in French. Typically, the governor general is expected to have a complete command of both official languages.

Despite Simon’s promise to continue taking French lessons while serving as governor general, hundreds of French speaking Canadians have written complaints to the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages.

The complaints prompted Commissioner Raymond Théberge to launch an investigation into the process for nominating the governor general.

Despite growing up in northern Quebec, Simon said she never had an opportunity to learn French at an early age because it was not taught at the federal day school she attended.

Day schools operated separately from residential schools but were run by many of the same groups that ran residential schools. They operated from the 1860s to the 1990s.

WATCH | Languages commissioner says he’s received almost 600 complaints about next governor general’s lack of fluency in French

Official Languages Commissioner Raymond Théberge joins Power & Politics to discuss his investigation of the process that chose Mary Simon as the next governor general. 3:49

The government has maintained that Simon is an exemplary candidate despite her lack of fluency in French.

Simon brings an extensive resume with her to Rideau Hall, following a career that included various positions as an advocate and ambassador.

She helped negotiate the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement in 1975, a landmark deal between the Cree and Inuit in Quebec’s north, the provincial government and Hydro-Québec.

Widely seen as the country’s “first modern treaty,” the agreement saw the province acknowledge Cree and Inuit rights in the James Bay region for the first time, such as exclusive hunting, fishing and trapping rights and self-governance in some areas. It also offered financial compensation in exchange for the construction of massive new hydroelectric dams to fuel the growing province’s demand for new energy sources.

Simon was also an Inuit representative during the negotiations that led to the patriation of the Constitution in 1982 — which included an acknowledgement of Indigenous treaty rights in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 

WATCH | Mary Simon challenges Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in 1984

The First Ministers Constitutional Conference was held in March of 1984. This exchange happened during a discussion about gender equity. 3:29

In 1986, Simon was tapped to lead the Inuit Circumpolar Conference (ICC), a group created in 1977 to represent the Inuit in all the Arctic countries. At the ICC, she championed two priorities for Indigenous Peoples of the north: protecting their way of life from environmental damage and pushing for responsible economic development on their traditional territory.

In 1994, former prime minister Jean Chrétien appointed Simon as Canada’s first ambassador for circumpolar affairs.

During her time in that role, she helped negotiate the creation of an eight-country group known today as the Arctic Council. She would later be appointed as Canada’s ambassador to Denmark.

Beginning in 2006, Simon served two terms as president of the ITK. In that role, she delivered a response on behalf of Inuit to the formal apology for residential schools presented in the House of Commons in 2008.

WATCH | ᑕᑯᒃᓴᐅᕙᒌᖅᑎᓪᓗᒍ ᑕᐅᑐᒃᓯᐅᒃ: ᐊᕙᑎᒃ ᖁᓕᓪᓗ ᐊᑕᓂᐊᓘᑉ ᑭᒡᒐᑐᕐᑎᖓᑦ

ᖁᕕᐊᓲᑕᐅᓂᐊᖅᑐᖅ ᐊᕙᑎᒃ ᖁᓕᓪᓗ ᐊᑕᓂᐊᓘᑉ ᑭᒡᒐᕐᑐᕐᑎᒋᓂᐊᓕᖅᑕᖓ ᒥᐊᔨ ᓴᐃᒪᓐ 0:00

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Maggie Mac Neil swims to Canada's 1st gold medal of Tokyo Olympics – CBC.ca

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Maggie Mac Neil won Canada’s first gold medal of these Olympics, capturing the women’s 100-metre butterfly in a Canadian record of 55.59 seconds on Monday morning in Tokyo.

China’s Zhang Yufei (55.64) took the silver and Australia’s Emma McKeon (55.72) claimed bronze.

Mac Neil, from London, Ont., is competing in her first Olympics and already has two medals. 

“I can’t believe this moment happened,” she said after becoming an Olympic champion. 

Her time of 55.59 is the third-fastest time ever. Seconds after touching the wall inside the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, Mac Neil squinted up at the scoreboard in disbelief at seeing her name in the No. 1 position. 

“It was more than I was hoping for at this point. I really just wanted to have fun, which I think I did today,” Mac Neil said. “I’m really proud of that and am just trying to swim my best.”

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Find live streams, must-watch video highlights, breaking news and more in one perfect Olympic Games package. Following Team Canada has never been easier or more exciting.

More from Tokyo 2020

At the turn, Mac Neil found herself in seventh position but then put forward a memorable closing 50 metres to touch the wall first. 

WATCH | Maggie Mac Neil wins gold in 100m butterfly:

Maggie Mac Neil of London, Ont., won Canada’s first gold medal of these Olympics, capturing the women’s 100-metre butterfly in a Canadian record 55.59 seconds on Monday morning in Tokyo. 6:28

“I’m not usually out fast,” the 21-year-old said. “I like to have time to get going, stay smooth and strong. The second 50 metres is always my sweet spot and where I feel most comfortable.”

Just a day earlier, Mac Neil was part of the Canadian women’s 4×100-metre freestyle relay team that won silver. 

“We haven’t shown the world what we’re here for yet. We’re the underdogs and it’s working to our advantage,” she said. 

At the 2019 world championships, Mac Neil also won gold in the 100-metre butterfly and set a Canadian record at her first world championships. She admitted she was feeling the pressure being the reigning world champion coming into the Olympics. 

WATCH | Mac Neil receives gold medal:

Watch Maggie Mac Neil of London, Ont., receive her gold medal after winning the women’s 100-metre butterfly at Tokyo 2020. 4:55

“Coming in with a target on your back is hard in so many ways. Going into worlds I was relatively unknown so I had that to my advantage,” she said. “That added pressure makes it a little more challenging, so I was just focusing on having fun.”

In other events Monday, Canadian teenager Summer McIntosh finished fourth in the women’s 400-metre freestyle, as did the Canadian men in the 4×100-metre relay. Kylie Masse advanced to Tuesday’s final by finishing second in her 100-metre backstroke semfinal, but Taylor Ruck failed to advance.

Mac Neil, like many of the Canadian swimmers, had a curveball thrown into her journey to the Olympics. 

Normally she trains in the United States, swimming at the University of Michigan. At the 2021 NCAA championships, she won and set an NCAA record in the 100-yard butterfly, becoming the first woman in history to go under 49 seconds in that event.

But she had to change up her preparation leading into the Games because of COVID-19. 

Mac Neil was forced to leave her coaches and training program in the U.S. because of all the changing pandemic-related public health restrictions and start fresh with the team at the high-performance centre in Toronto — not an ideal situation just months before the Olympics. 

WATCH | Breaking down Mac Neil’s golden race:

Maggie Mac Neil wins Canada’s first gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics in the 100-metre butterfly event on Day 3. 1:31

After two weeks of quarantine Mac Neil got to work with the national team and coaches at the beginning of April. She said that while the change wasn’t optimal, she actually ended up improving on a number of different disciplines.

“I was quite nervous about how it was all going to turn out. Switching so close. It worked out for the best,”

McIntosh, 14, in her first Olympic final, was going up against some of the best swimmers in the sport’s history in American Katie Ledecky and Australia’s Ariarne Titmus. 

For most of the race McIntosh held her own, swimming strong behind the two powerhouses. But in the closing 100 metres McIntosh was passed by eventual bronze medallist China’s Bingji Li. Titmus won the gold and Ledecky took silver.

WATCH | Summer McIntosh 4th in 400m freestyle:

Australia’s Ariarne Titmus chased down American star Katie Ledecky to win the Olympic women’s 400-metre freestyle in 3 minutes, 56.69 seconds, swimming the second-fastest time in history. 14-year-old Summer McIntosh of Toronto set a Canadian record of 4:02.42 to finish in fourth place. 8:53

McIntosh finished fourth in the race, breaking her Canadian record she set a day earlier with a time of 4:02.02. 

In the men’s 4×100-metre final, Canada’s Brent Hayden, 37, blasted off the blocks and put the team in a strong opening position in the opening leg. Canada was in third going into the final leg, but anchor Markus Thormeyer was passed by Australia’s Kyle Chalmers in the last 50 metres.

The United States grabbed gold, 3:08.97, Italy finished in second place, 3:10.11, while Australia finished with bronze in a time of 3:10.22. 

Canada’s time of 3:10.82 is a Canadian record.

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