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

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The latest:

The number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb in parts of Canada, with Ontario reaching a new daily high of 1,328 on Sunday and setting a single-day record for a second consecutive day.

Toronto saw 434 of the new cases, followed by 385 in Peel Region, 105 in York Region, and 71 in Ottawa. Ontario’s daily case count of 1,132 new cases of COVID-19 reported on Saturday surpassed the previous provincial daily high of 1,050 cases reported on Tuesday.

A new colour-coded assessment system went into effect in Ontario on Saturday. Only Peel Region was deemed a red zone, while other hot spots such as York Region and Ottawa were labelled orange.

WATCH | Peel Region deemed red zone under Ontario’s new pandemic plan:

Earlier this week, the province rolled out its new tiered, colour-coded COVID-19 restriction framework. The red zone is less restrictive than the current modified Stage 2: restaurants and bars can serve indoors but only 10 customers are allowed inside, and gyms can open with restrictions. 0:56

Regions in the red category have, among other things, indoor restaurant dining limited to 10 people and gyms limited to 10 people indoors.

The orange level limits bars and restaurants to 50 people indoors, with no more than four seated together.

Alberta also saw a single-day high on Saturday, recording 919 new cases of COVID-19. The government’s website noted that due to technical issues, the numbers were preliminary and subject to reconciliation.

In Manitoba, a news briefing will be held Sunday to address a COVID-19 outbreak that has claimed the lives of 22 people at a long-term care home in Winnipeg.

Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen will talk about the situation unfolding at Maples Personal Care Home, where eight residents died over the course of just two days.

City police officers wearing protective suits were seen entering the home Saturday evening. They headed to a forensic identification truck after leaving the facility.

The Winnipeg police duty office wouldn’t provide any information on Saturday night, but said the public information office is expected to provide more information on Sunday.

Manitoba, meanwhile, recorded 271 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday. 

British Columbia recorded 567 cases on Saturday. That figure, along with the 589 diagnoses documented on Friday, represent the highest case counts seen in the province to date.

WATCH | B.C.’s top doctor talks about hard-hit Fraser Health region:

Dr. Bonnie Henry says there are a number of factors, including a large number of essential workers and multigenerational families. 1:50

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said linear case growth turned exponential in the past two weeks in the Lower Mainland. She strongly recommended that travel in and out of Fraser Health region and Vancouver Coastal Health region be limited to essential travel only as part of new rules covering a two-week period.

The restrictions prohibit residents in the regions from making social visits to other homes and halts indoor group fitness activities like yoga and spin classes.


What’s happening across Canada

As of 10:30 a.m. ET on Sunday, provinces and territories in Canada had reported a cumulative total of 261,383 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 213,971 cases as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 10,493.

Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam noted Saturday that several regions are “experiencing accelerated growth” and urged Canadians to step up containment efforts.

She pointed to a growing number of people suffering severe COVID-19 illness as a worrisome trend that could further burden hospitals in the coming weeks, and warned that could be especially problematic as flu season intensifies.

“We need to retake the lead on COVID-19, by each reducing our close contacts to the best of our ability and employing key public health practices consistently and with precision,” Tam said in a statement.

In Quebec, 1,234 new cases and 29 more deaths were linked to the virus, with the province’s health department saying 11 of those deaths came in the past 24 hours.

Premier François Legault urged residents on Saturday to maintain efforts to keep COVID-19 at bay this winter. In an open letter, Legault thanked Quebecers for showing solidarity and expressed hope that grandparents will be able to see their grandchildren at Christmas.

Quebec officials have said they are especially concerned about Saguenay, north of Quebec City, and Lanaudière, north of Montreal — regions Legault has dubbed “the worst” in the province on a per-capita basis.

Saskatchewan is gearing up for municipal elections on Monday. Masks were ordered to be worn in indoor public spaces in Regina, Saskatoon and Prince Albert, starting Friday, so polling stations in those cities will be included.

Saskatchewan reported 116 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday — the second-highest reported number of COVID-19 cases for one day in the province — and two additional deaths.

A COVID-19 test site is pictured last month in Portage la Prairie, which is part of the Southern Health region that is moving to the red, or critical, level of Manitoba’s pandemic response system on Monday. (Lyzaville Sale/CBC)

Nova Scotia reported four new cases on Saturday, bringing the number of active cases in the province to 20, the highest number since May 23.

New Brunswick reported three new cases, all in the Fredericton region, and one new recovery on Saturday.

Newfoundland reported two new cases and one new recovery on Saturday. Health officials there are asking people who are returning from work at Manitoba Hydro’s Keeyask Generating Station to self-isolate after news of an outbreak at the site earlier this week.

Until recently, P.E.I. was the only province in Canada with no active cases of COVID-19. That changed Friday when it announced two new cases, men in their 20s and 50s who had travelled outside Atlantic Canada.

In the North, Nunavut confirmed its first COVID-19 case on Friday, in Sanikiluaq. 

Residents in the community of about 900 people are being asked to remain at home and to avoid mingling with those who are not part of their households, and all travel to and from Sanikiluaq is now restricted to cargo and emergencies.


What’s happening around the world

As of Sunday morning, more than 49.9 million of COVID-19 cases have been reported worldwide, with more than 32.8 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.

According to a Reuters tally, global coronavirus infections exceeded 50 million on Sunday, while the latest seven-day average shows daily infections across the globe are rising by more than 540,000.

The number of cases in the Americas made up nearly half of the global total to reach 21,326,640, according to the World Health Organization coronavirus disease dashboard.

The United States recorded 9,810,609 confirmed cases and 236,642 deaths, according to data released by the John Hopkins University on Saturday afternoon. The seven-day rolling average of new daily cases in the U.S. is approaching 100,000 for the first time, according to the data.

The country has registered over 100,000 single-day cases in four consecutive days, including 131,420 new infections on Saturday.

Texas became the first state to surpass a million coronavirus cases in the United States on Saturday. The surge in new cases in the past week came mainly from Harris, Dallas and El Paso counties, based on a Reuters tally. The surge is straining medical facilities, with the city of El Paso converting a convention centre into a field hospital.

Fans watch the action on the 18th hole during the first round of the Vivint Houston Open at Memorial Park Golf Course last Thursday in Houston, Tex. It’s the first PGA Tour event to allow general admission spectators since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

In Europe, Portugal will impose localized night-time curfews from Monday to contain the spread of the coronavirus as the number of cases reached a record high, Prime Minister Antonio Costa announced in the early hours of Sunday.

“We cannot have the slightest doubt that everything must be done to contain the pandemic,” Costa told a news conference. “If we fail to do so, we must increasingly adopt more restrictive measures and compromise the month of December.”

In the Middle East, Iran reported 9,236 more cases of the coronavirus infection on Sunday, after reporting a new daily  high of 9,460 cases on Saturday. The country’s health minister also recorded 459 additional deaths.

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Trudeau nominates first judge of colour to sit on Supreme Court

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday made history by nominating the first judge of color to sit on the country’s Supreme Court, which has only ever had white justices in its 146-year existence.

Mahmud Jamal, who has been a judge on Ontario‘s court of appeal since 2019, trained as a lawyer and appeared before the Supreme Court in 35 appeals addressing a range of civil, constitutional, criminal and regulatory issues.

“He’ll be a valuable asset to the Supreme Court – and that’s why, today, I’m announcing his historic nomination to our country’s highest court,” Trudeau said on Twitter.

Trudeau has frequently said there is a need to address systemic racism in Canada.

Jamal, born in Nairobi in 1967, emigrated with his family to Britain in 1969 where he said he was “taunted and harassed because of my name, religion, or the color of my skin.”

In 1981 the family moved to Canada, where his “experiences exposed me to some of the challenges and aspirations of immigrants, religious minorities, and racialized persons,” he said in a document submitted to support his candidacy.

Canada is a multicultural country, with more than 22% of the population comprised of minorities and another 5% aboriginal, according to the latest census.

“We know people are facing systemic discrimination, unconscious bias and anti-black racism every single day,” Trudeau said last year.

Jamal will replace Justice Rosalie Abella, who is due to retire from the nine-person court on July 1.

 

(Reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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Donors pledge $1.5 billion for Venezuelan migrants, humanitarian crisis

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More than 30 countries and two development banks on Thursday pledged more than $1.5 billion in grants and loans to aid Venezuelan migrants fleeing a humanitarian crisis, as well as their host countries and vulnerable people still in the country.

The $954 million in grants announced at a donors’ conference hosted by Canada – which included pledges of $407 million from the United States and C$115 million Canadian dollars ($93.12 million) from Canada – exceeded the $653 million announced at a similar event last year.

But that fell short of the needs of countries hosting the more than 5.6 million Venezuelans who have left their country since 2015, as the once-prosperous nation’s economy collapsed into a years-long hyperinflationary recession under socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

Most have resettled in developing countries in Latin America and the Caribbean who have themselves seen their budgets stretched thin due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Does this cover all needs? Of course not,” Filippo Grandi, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, told reporters. “We will have to continue to encourage donors to support the response.”

At the conference, Ecuadorean President Guillermo Lasso announced that the country – which hosts some 430,000 Venezuelans – would begin a new process to regularize migrants’ status. That came after Colombia in February gave 10-year protected status to the 1.8 million Venezuelans it hosts.

Karina Gould, Canada‘s minister for international development, said the amount pledged showed donors were eager to support such efforts.

“There is that recognition on behalf of the global community that there needs to be support to ensure that that generosity can continue, and can actually deepen, in host countries,” Gould said.

In addition, the World Bank and Inter-American Developmemt Bank pledged $600 million in loans to address the crisis, Gould said.

($1 = 1.2349 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Luc Cohen, Michelle Nichols and David Ljunggren; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Aurora Ellis)

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Ecuador to start new ‘normalization process’ for Venezuelan migrants

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Ecuador will implement a new “normalization process” for the 430,000 Venezuelan migrants living in the South American country, President Guillermo Lasso said on Thursday, without providing further details of the plan.

Lasso’s announcement, at a conference hosted by Canada intended to raise money to support the more than 5.6 million Venezuelans who have fled an economic crisis in the South American country, came after Colombia in February gave 10-year protected status to the nearly 2 million Venezuelans it hosts.

“I am pleased to announce the beginning of a new regularization process, which in order to be an effective, lasting and permanent policy should be complemented by strategies for economic integration and labor market access,” Lasso said.

Ecuador in late 2019 launched a regularization process for Venezuelans who arrived before July of that year. That included two-year humanitarian visas meant to facilitate access to social services.

Lasso said Ecuador needed outside funding to continue caring for Venezuelan migrants, estimating that more than 100,000 additional migrants were expected to arrive before the end of the year.

“I call on our partners in the international community to be co-responsible and have solidarity with Venezuelan migrants and refugees, and with the countries that receive them,” he said.

 

(Reporting by Luc Cohen; editing by Barbara Lewis)

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