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COVID-19 in Alberta: Hinshaw to update province's status as cases, hospitalizations continue to grow – CTV Edmonton



Alberta is reverting to Step 1 of COVID-19 restrictions and will shut down indoor dining as cases of the COVID-19 variants of concern increase across the province.

Tuesday at midnight, the government will reduce retail capacity to 15 per cent, close libraries, only allow one-on-one training and prohibit activities such as dancing and singing.

And on Friday, restaurants, bars and cafes must close indoor dining, but can remain open for outdoor patio dining, takeout and curbside pickup.

Indoor gatherings are still banned, outdoor gatherings are limited to 10 people and places of worship continue to be restricted to 15 per cent occupancy.


Alberta reported 931 cases, including 676 variant infections, and three deaths, increasing the death toll to 2,001.

The province has seen a recent surge of cases and has added more than 800 new infections every day since March 31.

Since the start of April, the province’s active case count has grown by more than 1,700. Meanwhile, its test positivity has exceeded eight per cent each of the last five days, including 10.2 per cent on Tuesday.

Variants of concern now represent 42.6 per cent of the 10,809 active cases, up from 27 per cent last Monday.

“In the race between variants and virus, the variants are winning,” Kenney said.

“It is not clear yet if P.1 causes more severe outcomes than other strains, but we do know that it, like the B.117 variant, is more infectious,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw said. “We need to make sure we are looking at this big picture when considering all of the variants that we were seeing in the province, and taking actions every day to prevent spread of all strains of COVID-19.”

When asked if variants would become the dominant source of infections this week, Dr. Hinshaw said: “Yes, I think that’s accurate.”

Hospitalizations have remained above 300 six of the last seven days including the last five straight. The number of patients in intensive care units has grown more rapidly, up to 76 reported on Tuesday, nearly double the 40 reported three weeks prior.

Kenney said projections show Alberta could reach an average of 2,000 daily cases by the end of April based on current transmission rates, and up to 1,000 patients in hospital.

“We believe, based on the current trajectory, that if we don’t slow down this curve that we are set to hit the maximum capacity of our system in mid-May,” Premier Jason Kenney said.

“We can only do this together to prevent a long situation, a huge wave that causes massive cancellations of surgeries in our hospitals, and hundreds of preventable deaths,” he said.


Alberta had administered 734,403 vaccine doses and fully immunized just over 123,000 people as of Monday.

Starting Wednesday as part of Phase 2B, every Albertan 16 and older with a chronic condition can book a vaccine appointment, and people aged 55 to 64 with no underlying conditions can get an AstraZeneca shot, Kenney said.

The premier also announced the Path to Recovery, a number of stages with vaccination targets paired with reopening.

Path to Recovery

“By the end of May, that will be almost half of our population and by the end of June, it’ll be almost two-thirds with some level of protection, and by mid-September if Albertans take us up on the vaccines as I hope they will, almost three quarters of Albertans will have a good degree of immunity,” Kenney said.

“This is the end of the tunnel. It is our path to recovery. It is our path to freedom. Right now, we’re in a transition period, fighting to keep control of the virus, just a little while longer, until it is vanquished by vaccines.”

Alberta will share more details on its Path to Recovery later this month.

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Canadian Business During the Pandemic



In 2019 the world was hit by the covid 19 pandemic and ever since then people have been suffering in different ways. Usually, economies and businesses have changed the way they work and do business. Most of which are going towards online and automation.

The people most effected by this are the laymen that used to work hard labors to make money for there families. But other then them it has been hard for most business to make such switch. Those of whom got on the online/ e commerce band wagon quickly were out of trouble and into the safe zone but not everyone is mace for the high-speed online world and are thus suffering.

More than 200,000 Canadian businesses could close permanently during the COVID-19 crisis, throwing millions of people out of work as the resurgence of the virus worsens across much of the country, according to new research. You can only imagine how many families these businesses were feeding, not to mention the impact the economy and the GDP is going to bear.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business said one in six, or about 181,000, Canadian small business owners are now seriously contemplating shutting down. The latest figures, based on a survey of its members done between Jan. 12 and 16, come on top of 58,000 businesses that became inactive in 2020.

An estimate by the CFIB last summer said one in seven or 158,000 businesses were at risk of going under as a result of the pandemic. Based on the organization’s updated forecast, more than 2.4 million people could be out of work. A staggering 20 per cent of private sector jobs.

Simon Gaudreault, CFIB’s senior director of national research, said it was an alarming increase in the number of businesses that are considering closing.

We are not headed in the right direction, and each week that passes without improvement on the business front pushes more owners to make that final decision,”

He said in a statement.

The more businesses that disappear, the more jobs we will lose, and the harder it will be for the economy to recover.

In total, one in five businesses are at risk of permanent closure by the end of the pandemic, the organization said.

The new sad research shows that this year has been horrible for the Canadian businesses.


The beginning of 2021 feels more like the fifth quarter of 2020 than a new year,” said Laura Jones, executive vice-president of the CFIB, in a statement.

She called on governments to help small businesses “replace subsidies with sales” by introducing safe pathways to reopen to businesses.

There’s a lot at stake now from jobs, to tax revenue to support for local soccer teams,”

Jones said.

Let’s make 2021 the year we help small business survive and then get back to thriving.”

The whole world has suffered a lot from the pandemic and the Canadian economy has been no stranger to it. We can only pray that the world gets rid of this pandemic quickly and everything become as it used to be. Although I think it is about time, we start setting new norms.

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Shopify shares edge up after falling on executive departures



By Chavi Mehta

(Reuters) -Shopify Inc shares edged higher on Thursday, recovering partially from the previous day’s fall, with analysts saying the news of planned senior executive departures may have limited impact due to the company’s deep talent pool.

Chief Executive Officer Tobi Lutke said in a blog post on Wednesday the company’s chief talent officer, chief legal officer and chief technology officer will all leave their roles.

“We remain confident it (Shopify) can continue to execute at a high level, despite the departures,” Tom Forte, analyst at D.A. Davidson & Co said, pointing to the company’s “deep bench of talented executives.”

Shopify, which provides infrastructure for online stores, has seen its valuation soar in the past year as many businesses went virtual during the COVID-19 lockdowns, turning it into Canada‘s most valuable company.

Shopify declined to comment further on Lutke’s statement suggesting current company leaders would step in to fill the three roles. After chief product officer Craig Miller left in September, Lutke took on the role in addition to CEO.

The Ottawa-based company is Canada‘s biggest homegrown tech success story, founded in 2006 and supporting over 1 million businesses globally, according to the company.

Jonathan Kees, analyst at Summit Insights Group, called the timing of the departures “a little alarming” but said the specific roles make it less concerning, given that the executives leaving are “more back-office roles.”

Lutke said each one of them had their individual reasons to leave, without giving details.

“I am willing to give Tobi’s explanation the benefit of the doubt,” Kees added.

Toronto-listed shares of Shopify were up 3.5% at C$1526.41 on Thursday, giving it a market value of C$188 billion ($150 billion). It ended down 5.1% on Wednesday.

“While we would refer to the departure of three high-level executives as ‘significant,’ we would not refer to it as a ‘brain drain,'” Forte added.

($1 = 1.2541 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Dan Grebler)

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Almost half of Shopify’s top execs to depart company: CEO



By Moira Warburton

(Reuters) – Three of e-commerce platform Shopify’s seven top executives will be leaving the company in the coming months, chief executive officer and founder of Canada‘s most valuable company Tobi Lutke said in a blog post on Wednesday.

The company’s chief talent officer, chief legal officer and chief technology officer will all transition out of their roles, Lutke said, adding that they have been “spectacular and deserve to take a bow.”

“Each one of them has their individual reasons but what was unanimous with all three was that this was the best for them and the best for Shopify,” he said.

The trio follow the departure of Craig Miller, chief product officer, in September. Lutke took on the role in addition to CEO.

Shopify, which provides infrastructure for online stores, has seen its valuation soar in the last year as many businesses went virtual during COVID-19 lockdowns. It has a market cap valuation of C$182.7 billion ($146 billion), above Canada‘s top lender Royal Bank of Canada.

It is Canada‘s biggest homegrown tech success story, founded in 2006 and supporting over 1 million businesses globally, according to the company.

“We have a phenomenally strong bench of leaders who will now step up into larger roles,” Lutke said, but did not name replacements.

Shopify said in February revenue growth would slow this year as vaccine rollouts encourage people to return to stores and warned it does not expect 2020’s near doubling of gross merchandise volume, an industry metric to measure transaction volumes, to repeat this year.

Chief talent officer, Brittany Forsyth, was the 22nd employee hired at Shopify and has been with the company for 11 years. She said on Twitter that post-Shopify she would be focusing on Backbone Angels, an all-female collective of angel investors she co-founded in March.

Shopify shares fell 5.1% while the benchmark Canadian share index ended marginally down.

($1 = 1.2515 Canadian dollars)


(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Toronto; Editing by Aurora Ellis)

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