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COVID-19 outbreak declared at new Cargill plant as Alberta reports 84 new cases province-wide – Calgary Herald

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“This plant in terms of the pre-existing conditions was better,” Hesse said. “But the question is what Cargill does now.”

Alberta also announced two other new Calgary outbreaks Friday. One is at Fledglings Educare Centre, where two staff and three children were infected with COVID-19. Two of the children have now recovered. As well, an outbreak at a private gathering is linked to 13 cases, nine of which remain active.

Also Friday, Alberta reported 84 new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing the province’s total to 12,053.

The new cases came from about 8,200 tests, a one per cent positive rate. More than 800,000 tests have now been conducted in Alberta.

Both active cases and hospitalization rates stayed stagnant from Thursday. There are 1,036 active coronavirus cases in Alberta, while 48 Albertans remain in hospital with the virus, including 13 receiving treatment in intensive-care units.

One new death from COVID-19 in Alberta, a woman in her 60s from the AHS South zone, was reported Friday, bringing the province’s total to 221.

Elsewhere Friday, Calgary’s public and Catholic school boards each announced that they were mandating masks for all students in schools. Previously, Alberta Education only required students in Grades 4 to 12 to wear masks.

jherring@postmedia.com
Twitter: @jasonfherring

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Canadian retail sales slow after surpassing pandemic losses – BNN

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Gains for Canadian retailers slowed sharply in July and August, suggesting pent-up demand from prior months has been largely extinguished.

Sales grew 0.6 per cent in July, versus 23 per cent in June and 21 per cent in May, Statistics Canada said Friday in Ottawa. Excluding vehicles, receipts unexpectedly dropped 0.4 per cent, versus a forecast gain of 0.5 per cent. Preliminary estimates from the agency show receipts climbed 1.1 per cent in August, suggesting the weaker trend will continue.

The report reinforces warnings that the pace of the recovery will slow in the second half of the year, after a strong V-shaped rebound through the early summer.

“All in all, the numbers imply that retail activity is normalizing after the whipsaw of a huge downturn and recovery,” said Scotiabank economist Brett House in a note.

Core retail sales, or those excluding vehicles and gasoline, dropped 1.2 per cent.

Still, the rebound has been impressive. In July, retail sales were up 2.7 per cent compared with year earlier levels.

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1 TSX Stock With a 12% DIVIDEND YIELD to Buy Today – The Motley Fool Canada

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The year 2020 is continuing to be highly volatile for the Toronto Stock Exchange. In March, the index saw a sharp surge in volatility after the COVID-19 cases started rising in the country. While the market seems to be on a path of a sharp recovery, massive sell-offs every now and then (like the one we saw in the first week of September) continue to haunt investors.

Market volatility is likely to continue

Despite the broader market recovery in recent months, the ongoing pandemic-related uncertainties are expected to keep stocks highly volatile in the near term. Also, the upcoming U.S. general elections could add to this volatility.

That’s why it’s a good idea for Canadian investors to play it safe and start minimizing their risk exposure. Adding some stocks with good fundamentals from various industries is one way to minimize risks.

Role of dividends in minimizing risks

Another great option is to add some high-dividend-yielding stocks in your portfolio right now. Doing so would not only help you minimize your risk exposure but would also ensure that you continue to get regular income from your investments in the form of dividends.

If you don’t want to use this annual income yourself, you can reinvest these dividends in stocks to boost the overall investment return.

The top TSX dividend stock

Brookfield Property Partners (TSX:BPY.UN)(NASDAQ:BPY) is the highest-dividend-yielding stock on TSX. Currently, it has a solid double-digit dividend yield of nearly 12% — much higher than any other Canadian company.

It’s a Hamilton-based commercial real estate firm. Apart from its unbelievably attractive dividend yield, its strong fundamentals give you more reasons to buy Brookfield Property Partners stock and hold it forever.

Solid fundamentals

In 2019, Brookfield Property Partners rose by 37% to about US$7 billion. The company reported US$1.95 billion adjusted net profit last year with an amazingly high net profit margin of 27.9%.

In the first half of this year, the COVID-19-related restrictions and shutdowns took a big toll on the real estate business and the housing market. As a result, Brookfield reported a US$1.2 billion net loss in the second quarter of 2020. Nonetheless, analysts expect the ongoing recovery in the real estate business to boost the company’s bottom line in the next couple of quarters. According to Bay Street analysts’ estimates, its 2020 net profit is likely to be at around US$104 million.

In 2021, Brookfield Property Partners’s net profit is expected to be over US$2.1 billion — much higher as compared to its 2019 profits. Overall, it proves that analysts expect the COVID-19-related headwinds to be temporary for the company, as the pandemic might not affect its long-term financial growth trend.

Brookfield Property Partners stock

On a year-to-date basis, Brookfield Property Partners stock is trading deep in negative territory with 37% losses. However, its stock has already started a sharp recovery in the third quarter as it has risen by 11.2% in the ongoing quarter so far. These gains are much higher as compared to only 5.3% quarter-to-date rise in the S&P/TSX60 Index.

That’s why you should consider buying this amazing dividend stock right now — especially when you’re getting it so cheap.

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Fool contributor Jitendra Parashar has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Brookfield Property Partners LP.

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Canadian airlines cancelling flights again as hoped-for bounceback in demand fizzles – CBC.ca

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Rachel Farrell can now claim the unfortunate distinction of having two destination weddings called off in one year.

The 26-year-old event co-ordinator had booked a Transat flight out of Halifax for Feb. 15, 2021, as part of her planned nuptials in the Dominican Republic but was told this week the airline had cancelled the trip and would not make the journey until six days later.

She and her fiancé had first booked their trip package for last April, but it was nixed by Transat after the airline grounded its entire fleet due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The problem is increasingly common, with Canadian airlines cancelling hundreds of flights as hopes for a spike in demand fall flat, snarling plans for the few passengers who remain.

“I was upset but understood that it wasn’t Air Transat’s fault, so we would wait until air travel resumed and rebook as soon as we could, since refunds weren’t an option,” Farrell said.

She did that in July, rebooking the flight for February using a travel credit based on the $37,000 she and her nearly two-dozen guests had paid for the package.

“Even though they knowingly chose to cancel my rebooked wedding group, they still won’t give us a refund,” Farrell said, noting the airline is again offering credit.

Rachel Farrell and her fiancé, Josh Dunn, planned to get married in the Dominican Republic last April, but their flight was cancelled due to the pandemic. Now the airline has cancelled their new flight date of February 2021. (Rachel Farrell/The Canadian Press)

“My travel agent has told me that even if I rebook next week, they might still push the dates further…. I don’t know what to do now, and all I really want is to get married.”

Air Canada and WestJet have cancelled at least 439 flights so far this month, according to figures from flight data firm Cirium.

The cancellations come after airlines banked on a return of business travel and a continued uptick in leisure trips in the fall, said John Gradek, who heads McGill University’s Global Aviation Leadership program.

“They’ve decided since about the end of July to let loose on scheduled services and increasing the number of routes, at the same time hoping that the government will loosen up some of its restrictions. And that’s not been the case,” he said.

Now, airlines are cancelling the half-booked flights and consolidating passengers on remaining ones to cut costs.

“There has not been a take-up by the Canadian travelling public of those seats that are being offered by the carriers, so they’re cutting back those services significantly … and it’s being done piecemeal rather than being done wholesale,” Gradek said.

Demand fizzled

The letdown builds on an already devastating year.

Transat revenues fell by 99 per cent year over year in the last quarter, when the travel company operated flights for just one week.

Air Canada saw passenger revenues drop 95 per cent, prompting 20,000 layoffs as the airline burned through $19 million per day. WestJet has laid off about 4,000 employees since March.

Air traffic in August fell by two-thirds compared with a year earlier, according to Nav Canada, which operates air navigation across the country.

Flight consolidation does not always result in upended plans or wedding dilemmas.

“Sometimes airline schedules require minor surgery and sometimes major surgery,” said Mike Malik, head of marketing at Cirium.

The itinerary change can sometimes mean a departure delay of an hour rather than a week.

“We know that most travellers right now are not business travellers,” Malik said. “These are VFR travellers — visiting friends and relatives. So if you’re visiting friends and relatives, you probably don’t need a 7 a.m. flight for a 9 a.m. meeting in Toronto.”

The reassurance comes as cold comfort for Darlene Hatter, who was twice slated to attend her son’s destination wedding in Costa Rica, with both flights from Toronto now cancelled.

Her son, Robert Przybylski, 35, is now out $15,000, as well as the $2,800 each of his 85 guests shelled out, she said.

“It’s very frustrating,” Hatter said.

“The airlines in my opinion are taking advantage big time of this and stomping on the little people just because they can. The government needs to step up and tell these airlines to give people their refunds.”

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