MONTREAL: The spookiest thing about this Halloween isn’t the spider and ghost decorations, but the dehumanizing treatment of those packing and shipping them to retail stores in Montreal.
Dollarama warehouse workers will protest in front of a retail store in Saint-Hubert Plaza from one to three in the afternoon this Halloween. Workers are fed up of being being paid through temporary placement agencies and demand to be official Dollarama employees.
“We’re treated like robots. They don’t care about us,” says a current Dollarama worker who asked to remain anonymous due to fear of management reprisals. “It’s dangerous, exhausting work and there’s no one to listen to our concerns, no one to answer our questions.”
The worker reports frustration that the agency isn’t present to listen to his concerns, despite the same agency taking a cut of his salary.
Halloween may be a highlight for Dollarama shoppers, but for the underpaid and precarious workforce, the season is more “trick” than treat. Masks, candy and costumes are sent out to retail stores thanks to “perma-temp” warehouse workers who remain employees of half a dozen temporary placement agencies no matter how many years they stay in the facility.
The agencies compete against each other within the distribution centre, each rushing to fulfill the high production quotas stipulated in their individual contracts with Dollarama.
“The quota production system is completely unrealistic. To complete the quota I would have to move at an unsafe speed in a cramped environment around heavy pallets,” the current worker reports.
On the same production line, workers performing the same work with the same seniority often receive different pay and premiums depending on which agency hired them. Workers who want to report paycheque or health and safety issues are often bounced back and forth between Dollarama and agency supervisors, frustrating efforts to improve conditions.
“The fact that the agencies main offices are located off site in a completely different part of town means that if a worker wanted to follow up on an issue, they would have to take an extra hour out of their day just to travel to the agency office,” explains Temporary Agency Worker Association (TAWA) community organizer Benoit Scowen. “This discourages workers from bringing up issues.”
While Dollarama shoppers may enjoy using products from the store to create a “wild west” themed Halloween costume, the unconstrained cowboy-style competition between agencies on the facility floor fosters an environment of recklessness at the expense of worker safety and well-being.
“Agencies all competing against each other makes supervisors reluctant to take people off the line for health and safety reasons,” Scowen elaborates. “They’ll push people to go back to work so they can fulfill their contract with Dollarama. It disincentivizes taking health and safety seriously because they just want to keep their people on the ground working.”
Former Dollarama worker and current community organizer with the Immigrant Workers Centre (IWC) Guarav Sharma experienced constant back pain for months from lifting heavy pallets.
Sharma says it’s “not fair, unjust” that the agencies take a cut of worker’s pay and that workers don’t have health insurance. He thinks Dollarama should hire workers directly and in doing so take full legal responsibility for their workers.
“Remember that the warehouse workers are the ones that actually do the work to keep the shops full of goods to sell!” Sharma says.
Speakers will include:
Guarav, Dollarama warehouse worker
Job Delicat, Dollarama warehouse worker
Julius, Dollarama warehouse worker
Andrés Fontecilla, MNA, Québec Solidaire
David Bergeron-Cyr, Président, Fédération du Commerce (FC-CSN)
Chantal Ide, Vice-Présidente du Conseil central de Montréal métropolitain- CSN (CCMM-CSN)
Canada surpasses 400000 total COVID-19 cases – CTV News
Canada has now recorded more than 400,000 cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the global pandemic.
Today’s bleak marker came after Saskatchewan reported 283 new cases of the virus today, bringing the national tally to 400,030.
The speed at which Canada reached the 400,000 mark is the latest sign of the accelerating pace of the pandemic across the country.
Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 18 days ago on Nov. 16.
It took six months for Canada to record its first 100,000 cases of COVID-19, four months to reach the 200,000 threshold and less than a month to arrive at 300,000.
Canada’s national death toll from the virus currently stands at 12,470.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 4, 2020.
The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada – Richmond News
The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern):
Saskatchewan is reporting 283 new cases of COVID-19 and one more death.
Health officials say the person who died was in their 80s and the province’s death toll from the pandemic sits at 55.
There are more than 4,000 active cases of the virus in the province, many of the infections concentrated in and around Regina and Saskatoon.
Hospitals are treating 126 COVID-19 patients, with 25 of them in intensive care.
The province’s seven-day average of daily cases is 262.
Premier Scott Moe hopes to see a dip in transmission of the virus so more visitation can be allowed in long-term care homes over the holidays.
Manitoba is announcing nine more deaths from COVID-19 and 320 new infections Friday as health officials released new modelling showing the impact of the pandemic on the province.
It shows that three people end up in hospital and one person dies for every 48 cases of COVID-19.
Dr. Brent Roussin, chief public health officer, says if no public health measures had been put in place, there would have been up to 1,055 new infections a day by this Sunday.
Daily cases have been tracking between 300 and 500 recently.
Nunavut will look to get the Moderna vaccine once it is available in Canada.
Chief public health officer Dr. Michael Patterson says Moderna is preferred because the cold storage and shipping of the Pfizer vaccine is too difficult in Nunavut.
Patterson also announced today fewer than five Nunavut residents with COVID-19 were flown to a Winnipeg hospital this week and are in stable condition.
Patterson would not comment on exactly how many people were in hospital or what communities they come from.
Ottawa is increasing its order of prospective COVID-19 vaccines.
Procurement Minister Anita Anand says Canada is exercising its option to obtain another 20 million doses of Moderna’s two-dose candidate, bringing its total order to 40 million in 2021.
That’s expected to be enough to vaccinate almost 20 million people.
Moderna is one of several manufacturers Ottawa has struck deals with for prospective COVID-19 vaccines, which will be delivered in batches.
In early 2021, Canada expects a combined total of six million doses of the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines, if authorized for distribution.
The group instructing provinces and territories about who should be first in line for COVID-19 vaccines has updated its advice.
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization says the first doses of authorized vaccines should go to residents and staff of congregate living settings for seniors.
They should also go to older adults starting with people aged 80 and older, then decreasing the age limit to 70 as supply becomes available.
Health-care workers and adults in Indigenous communities where infection can have disproportionate consequences are also on the list.
Public Health officials in Newfoundland and Labrador are reporting three new cases of COVID-19.
There are now 27 active cases in the province, for a total of 343 cases since the pandemic began.
Premier Andrew Fury says he will announce the province’s position on the Atlantic travel bubble Monday.
Newfoundland and Labrador withdrew from the arrangement on looser travel restrictions within the region last month.
Nova Scotia is reporting 15 new cases of COVID-19.
Health officials say 11 cases are in the Halifax area, including a case at Citadel High School in Halifax reported late Thursday.
Three cases in the northern health zone are close contacts of other cases, and one case in the western zone is related to travel.
A case has also been identified at Park West School, a primary to Grade 9 school in the health zone that includes Halifax.
Nunavut is reporting eight new cases of COVID-19.
The territory says all the new infections are in Arviat.
The community on the western edge of Hudson Bay now has 44 active cases.
Nunavut mostly lifted a two-week lockdown earlier this week but restrictions remain in Arviat where numbers are highest.
Public Health officials in New Brunswick are reporting eight new cases of COVID-19.
There is one new case in the Moncton region, two in the Saint John region, one in the Fredericton area and four in the Edmunston region.
All the individuals are self-isolating and their cases are under investigation.
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in New Brunswick is 528 with 111 currently active.
There are 1,780 new cases of COVID-19 in Ontario today and 25 more deaths linked to the virus.
Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 633 new cases in Toronto, 433 in Peel and 152 in York Region.
She says that the spread of COVID-19 has “hit a critical point.”
The minister is asking Ontarians to wear masks and remain physically distant from each other.
The Quebec government is reporting 1,345 new COVID-19 cases and 28 additional deaths linked to the novel coronavirus.
The Health Department says of the five of the deaths occurred in the past 24 hours.
The number of hospitalizations has increased by 24 for a total of 761 with 97 people in intensive care.
The province has reported a total of 147,877 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 7,183 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 4, 2020.
The Canadian Press
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Friday – CBC.ca
- First COVID-19 vaccine doses expected to be given in January, federal officials say.
- Alberta announces record high number of daily cases and positive-test rate.
- Quebec cancels plans to allow holiday gatherings.
- U.S. sets single-day records for new infections, deaths; new stay-at-home orders coming to California.
- Have a coronavirus question or news tip for CBC News? Email us at COVID@cbc.ca
As Canada approaches 400,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, federal officials are making preparations for the first vaccine doses to be administered in January.
Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, a former NATO commander in Iraq who is leading vaccination logistics at a new national operations centre in the Public Health Agency of Canada, laid out the rollout plan at a press conference Thursday.
The initial supply of the doses will be limited — just three million Canadians are expected to get shots in the first three months of 2021. Millions more doses are expected to arrive as the supply chain stabilizes.
WATCH | How Canada is preparing for vaccine distribution:
One of the principal challenges facing the immunization effort is the distribution of vaccines that must be kept at very low temperatures. Vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, which are expected to be the first approved for use in the country, need to be kept at approximately -80 C and -20 C, respectively, to remain stable.
Eventually, there will be 205 “points of issue” locations across the country where health-care professionals can administer the vaccine, Fortin said. It will be up to the provinces and territories to specify where and when individual Canadians will be inoculated.
In British Columbia, the province’s top doctor said the first shots should be available in B.C. early in the new year, with the first priority likely being to immunize the most vulnerable populations, including residents of long-term care homes, as well as health-care workers.
“We’re going to make sure we are absolutely ready by then,” Dr. Bonnie Henry said. “We are planning to be able to put vaccine into arms in the first week of January.”
If everything goes according to plan, everyone in the province who wants the COVID-19 vaccine will be immunized by next September, Henry said. She said a more detailed plan for vaccine rollout will be available early next week.
WATCH | An inside look at the scramble to mass-produce a COVID-19 vaccine:
Ontario Premier Doug Ford echoed Henry’s assertion that the province will be ready when the first supply of vaccines is approved and available in early 2021, but said he still has many questions — specifically which vaccines will be coming to Ontario, how many, and when they will land.
Provincial Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams was also asked Thursday if the province would make vaccination mandatory.
“We can’t force someone to take a vaccine. That’s clear,” Williams said. But what the province can do, he noted, is make proof of a vaccine mandatory to access certain settings, such as long-term care facilities.
In Newfoundland and Labrador, Premier Andrew Furey told reporters he had spoken with federal Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc about distribution.
Furey said N.L.’s challenges differ from those seen in other jurisdictions, and the province has accepted military advice and expertise on distribution.
What’s happening across Canada
As of 9 a.m. ET on Friday, Canada’s COVID-19 case count stood at 396,271, with 69,246 of those cases considered active. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 12,407.
In Atlantic Canada, New Brunswick officials expressed hope that the Moncton and Frederiction regions could soon return to the yellow phase of recovery from the more restrictive orange phase, as the province reported six new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday.
“We are seeing some progress, people are following public health advice and measures,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, the chief medical officer of health. However, the Saint John region, which is currently also in the orange phase, is a bit further behind, Russell said.
WATCH | N.B. officials on how residents can have a yellow Christmas:
Nova Scotia reported 11 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday. Two of the cases had been confirmed in Sipekne’katik First Nation the previous evening by Chief Mike Sack and marked the first time the virus has been detected on a First Nation in Atlantic Canada.
Prince Edward Island announced one new case of COVID-19 on Thursday, as Premier Dennis King said P.E.I. will not rejoin the Atlantic bubble until at least Dec. 21.
Newfoundland and Labrador reported no new cases on Thursday. It was the first day the province had gone without a new case in more than two weeks.
In Quebec, starting Friday, inspectors and police will be more visible in malls and shops to make sure businesses are complying with public health measures including a maximum capacity of customers and signs about distancing rules.
The province has cancelled plans to allow gatherings over the December holidays in light of a rise in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
WATCH | Quebec premier says no gatherings allowed over holiday season:
Premier François Legault made the announcement Thursday as the province reported 1,470 new cases of COVID-19 and 30 more deaths. Hospitalizations related to COVID-19 have climbed above 700.
“When we look at the situation, we are forced to realize that it is not realistic to think that we are going to succeed in reducing the progression of the virus in a satisfactory way by Christmas,” Legault said.
Ontario has reached a key threshold when it comes to the number of patients in intensive care earlier than modelling had predicted. As of Thursday, 203 patients with the illness were being treated in intensive care, according to a report by Critical Care Services Ontario.
“It is concerning that we are ahead of schedule,” said Dr. Michael Warner, medical director of critical care at Michael Garron Hospital in Toronto.
The province reported 1,824 new cases of COVID-19 and 14 new deaths on Thursday. However, the number of new cases was slightly inflated due to a processing error, the provincial health ministry said.
In Manitoba, the number of people in hospital with COVID-19 climbed to a record 357, with 52 of those people in intensive care, matching a previous single-day record for patients in critical care.
“We know that [this] is putting too much strain on our capacity in the health-care system. The numbers are too high,” said Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer.
The province also reported 368 new COVID-19 cases and 12 more deaths on Thursday.
In Saskatchewan, an updated surge plan projected as many as 560 new cases of COVID-19 a day in the province — a doubling of current levels — by Dec. 15.
The province reported 259 new cases and one additional death on Thursday.
Alberta again broke records on Thursday with 1,854 new cases and a positive-test rate of 9.5 per cent. The province also reported 14 new deaths.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province’s chief medical officer of health, said she is particularly concerned about the spread of COVID-19 into rural areas. Among the 15 geographic areas with the highest active case rates in the province, one-third of them are outside Calgary and Edmonton.
British Columbia reported 694 new COVID-19 cases and 12 new deaths on Thursday.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said adult sports and fitness activities have become a major source of infection in recent weeks, accounting for something between 10 and 15 per cent of new cases.
All indoor and outdoor adult team sports are now prohibited in the province, and children’s programs have returned to earlier, more restrictive guidelines.
In the North, Nunavut has seen its total number of active cases go down over the past week, leading up to the lifting of a two-week territory-wide lockdown on Wednesday.
On Thursday, it reported five new COVID-19 cases, all in Arviat, which remains under restrictions. The community now has 68 of the territory’s 75 active cases.
What’s happening around the world
From The Associated Press and Reuters, last updated at 9:45 a.m. ET
As of early Friday morning, there were more than 65.2 million reported cases of COVID-19 worldwide, with more than 41.9 million of those listed as recovered or resolved, according to a tracking tool maintained by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University. The global death toll stood at more than 1.5 million.
In the Americas, U.S. president-elect Joe Biden said on Thursday he would publicly take a vaccine to demonstrate its safety to the public and pledged to retain the nation’s top adviser on the pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci, when he takes office next month.
“People have lost faith in the ability of the vaccine to work,” Biden told CNN in an interview that aired on Thursday.
Three former presidents — Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush — have also indicated they’d publicly take a coronavirus vaccine, once one becomes available, to encourage all Americans to get inoculated.
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force, met with Biden’s advisers on the pandemic earlier in the day.
The United States set single-day records for new infections and deaths on Thursday as California’s governor said he would impose some of the nation’s strictest stay-at-home orders in the coming days, when intensive care units are expected to reach capacity.
In Europe, Norway’s Health Minister Bent Hoeie said some 1.2 million people, chiefly those in high-risk groups and health workers, will get the vaccine when it becomes available. The remainder of Norway’s population of 5.4 million are expected to get the vaccine in the spring.
In Spain, Health Minister Salvador Illa said the government hopes to vaccinate between 15 and 20 million people by next May or June, with more to follow. It hopes to begin vaccinating next month and receive more than 140 million vaccine doses in all.
Croatia has ordered 5.6 million dozes of coronavirus vaccines and will start giving shots to people as soon as the vaccines are authorized for use in the European Union, health officials said.
Meanwhile, the Czech Republic has launched a coronavirus testing program for the country’s teachers as students gradually return to school. The program that started Friday and continues to Dec. 18 is designed to test up to 170,000 teachers. The free program is voluntary and uses rapid antigen tests.
The Czech government also plans to make COVID-19 tests available to all citizens, possibly starting Dec 18. In November, the country started testing residents of all nursing and retirement homes.
In the Asia-Pacific region, South Korea has recorded 629 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, the highest daily tally in about nine months.
After successfully suppressing two previous outbreaks this year, South Korea has been grappling with a fresh spike in infections since it relaxed stringent physical distancing rules in October. Last week, it toughened distancing restrictions in the greater Seoul area and other places.
In Africa, South Africa on Thursday tightened some COVID-19 rules in the Eastern Cape province where infections are rising the most, curbing movement and gatherings, but decided against reinstating a nationwide lockdown.
South Africa has recorded the highest number of coronavirus infections on the African continent, with more than 760,000 confirmed cases and more than 20,000 deaths.
In the Middle East, a partial lockdown will begin this weekend in the Gaza Strip after infections spiked in the densely populated territory.
In Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would get vaccinated against the coronavirus to set an example for his country’s citizens and that the government plans to buy multiple vaccines.
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