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Don't head to your cottage to wait out COVID-19 pandemic, Canadians warned – CTV News

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TORONTO —
The advice has been clear. To help flatten the curve and keep Canadian hospitals from being overwhelmed by COVID-19, everyone should stay home.

For some Canadians, though, it raises a question: Which home?

As the novel coronavirus has spread across the country, infecting thousands, some have decided that quiet, rural communities might make for a better place to hang their hats than bustling, population-dense cities.

These decisions to relocate to seasonal homes come with the risk of creating tension in the small communities set up to handle large populations in the summer and small ones at this time of year, as well as real health risks. The Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Association (FOCA) said earlier this month that it had been contacted by a number of cottagers concerned that travelling could further the spread of the virus.

Additionally, should an out-of-town visitor contract the virus, they may find that they can’t access treatment as easily as they would have been able to had they stayed in a larger city.

In some rural towns, expected patient influxes and staff absences are affecting local health-care sectors in severe ways. Emergency rooms in the Ontario communities of Clinton and Chesley are no longer open overnight because of demands during the daytime.

Bracebridge, Ont. Mayor Graydon Smith told CTV News Barrie on March 21 that his town was “seeing an influx of a lot of people,” potentially putting a strain on its health-care system.

“We’ve got a limited number of ICU beds, and if we’re suddenly dealing with double the population … we could see a real shortage of needed health-care facilities,” he said.

Canada’s chief public health officer weighed in on the subject Sunday, making it clear in no uncertain terms that this is not the time to head for a cottage, cabin or camp.

“Urban dwellers should avoid heading to rural properties, as these places have less capacity to manage COVID-19,” Dr. Theresa Tam said at a press conference in Ottawa.

There are also supply-chain issues to consider. Retailers across the country have found it difficult to keep food, cleaning supplies and other highly-demanded products on their shelves. For stores in remote areas that are used to serving small populations at this time of year, a sudden influx of cottagers can make it even more difficult to meet the needs of their year-round customers.

Even FOCA, which largely represents owners of seasonal properties, is urging cottagers to consider the strain they could put on these communities.

“FOCA reminds members that our rural communities have reduced capacity to accommodate sudden changes in supply demands,” the organization said in its bulletin.

“This is not the time for our usual credo to ‘buy local’ in cottage country.”

Tourism is a major big business in many cottage communities, where populations often more than double during the summer months – bringing in the economic stimulant needed to keep the permanent residents afloat through the winter. That’s certainly true of Saugeen Shores, Ont., where Luke Charbonneau has started repeating an anti-tourism mantra that he never expected he’d have to give.

“Don’t travel out of Saugeen Shores; don’t travel out of Saugeen Shores,” he told CTV News London on March 26.

On top of all that, there is no evidence to suggest rural areas are inherently better protected from the virus. Based on the numbers available Sunday morning, sparsely populated Yukon was reporting roughly one confirmed case for every 9,000 residents, while Ontario – Canada’s most population-dense province – had approximately one case for every 12,000 residents. There have been three deaths in Ontario’s Simcoe-Muskoka health region and three more in the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge health region, both of which include large swaths of the province’s cottage country.

Factor in the likelihood that the vast majority of COVID-19 cases in Canada have yet to be detected, and it appears there is no reason to believe in the idea of rural sanctuaries.

“Even if you have not heard of cases in your community, that does not mean that there are no cases or no exposures waiting to happen,” Tam said.

As of Sunday, there have been more than 6,200 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada out of more than 205,000 tests conducted. More than six per cent of known cases have ended up in hospital. Sixty-three people have died of the virus in Canada.

With files from CTV News London’s Scott Miller and CTV News Barrie’s Craig Momney

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Trump decries ‘lowlifes’ and racism in Canada; In The News for June 3 – CityNews Toronto

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In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what’s on the radar of our editors for the morning of June 3 …

American anti-racism protests …

Undeterred by curfews, protesters streamed back into the nation’s streets Tuesday, hours after President Donald Trump pressed governors to put down the violence set off by George Floyd’s death and demanded that New York call up the National Guard to stop the “lowlifes and losers.”

But most protests passed peacefully, and while there were scattered reports of looting in New York City, the country appeared calmer by late Tuesday than it did a day earlier, when violence swept through multiple cities.

The president, meanwhile, amplified his hard-line calls from Monday, when he threatened to send in the military to restore order if governors didn’t do it.

“NYC, CALL UP THE NATIONAL GUARD,” he tweeted. “The lowlifes and losers are ripping you apart. Act fast!”

One day after a crackdown on peaceful protesters near the White House, thousands of demonstrators massed a block away from the presidential mansion, facing law enforcement personnel standing behind a black chain-link fence. The fence was put up overnight to block access to Lafayette Park, just across the street from the White House.

“Last night pushed me way over the edge,” said Jessica DeMaio, 40, of Washington, who attended a Floyd protest Tuesday for the first time. “Being here is better than being at home feeling helpless.”

The crowd remained in place after the city’s 7 p.m. curfew passed, defying warnings that the response from law enforcement could be even more forceful. But the protest lacked the tension of the previous nights’ demonstrations. The crowd Tuesday was peaceful, even polite. At one point, the crowd booed when a protester climbed a light post and took down a street sign. A chant went up: “Peaceful protest!”

COVID-19 in Canada …

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will continue today to make the case for a co-ordinated global response to cushion the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world’s poorest countries.

He’ll be among the leaders and heads of state to deliver remarks during a virtual summit of the Organization of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS).

Among other things, he is expected to promise that Canada will partner with developing countries, which stand to be the hardest hit by the pandemic, and help to rally the world behind measures like debt relief to help them survive the crisis.

That is similar to the message Trudeau delivered last week while co-hosting a major United Nations summit, alongside UN secretary general Antonio Guterres and Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

Without a global co-ordinated recovery plan, the UN estimates the pandemic could slash nearly US$8.5 trillion from the world economy over the next two years, forcing 34.3 million people into extreme poverty this year and potentially 130 million more over the course of the decade.

While no country has escaped the economic ravages of the deadly novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, developing countries, already in debt distress before the pandemic, cannot afford the kinds of emergency benefits and economic stimulus measures undertaken in wealthy, industrialized countries like Canada.

And this …

Nova Scotia’s largest nursing home is planning for a future of private rooms to keep residents safe, but it has taken a wrenching pandemic death toll to create the shift — and it remains unclear whether government will fund a long-term fix.

“We’re currently down to fewer than 25 rooms with shared accommodations at the Halifax campus,” Janet Simm, the Northwood facility’s chief executive, said in a recent interview.

That’s a huge shift from before the pandemic when more than 240 residents lived in two- or three-person units. Now, fewer than 50 people remain in the shared spaces, some of whom are couples or others who specifically request a roommate, Simm said.

But the facility’s desire to create more space, which its board sought for years before the pandemic, unfolded through tragedy rather than design.

COVID-19 illnesses spread among the 485 residents after asymptomatic workers brought the virus there in early April, and Simm says the bulk of the 53 who had died, as of Tuesday, and the 240 infected were in shared units.

COVID-19 in sports …

Khari Jones doesn’t have to look far for a reminder that racism exists in Canada.

The Montreal Alouettes head coach divulged during a teleconference Tuesday he received death threats while he was the quarterback of the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers because of his interracial marriage. Jones is black and his wife, Justine, is white.

An emotional Jones — speaking just over a week after a white policeman kneeled on the neck of a black man, resulting in a tragic death in Minneapolis — said the threats came in the form of letters that remain in his possession.

“It’s just a reminder you always have to be on alert a little bit,” Jones said. “It could’ve been one person but one is still too many and to do that on the basis of a person’s skin colour is horrible.

“Every once in a while, every blue moon I take a look at them. They never found the person who wrote the letters — he used a fake name — but he’s still out there, people like him are still out there. That was 20-something years ago and it’s still happening.”

Interest rate announcement looms …

The Bank of Canada is expected to keep its key interest rate unchanged this morning on the first day of governor Tiff Macklem’s tenure.

Economists expect the central bank will maintain its target for the overnight rate at 0.25 per cent, which former governor Stephen Poloz has repeatedly said is as low as it can go.

Poloz and the bank’s governing council would have met over the past few days and finalized the rate decision last night.

Macklem likely would have been part of the meetings, but it’s unlikely that the language of the rate announcement will fully capture his views.

Instead of focusing on the rate itself, experts say they will be paying close attention to the language used in the rate announcement about the expected path for the economy in the coming weeks and months.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 3, 2020

The Canadian Press

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Canada’s daily coronavirus death toll surges from day prior as 705 new cases reported – Globalnews.ca

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The death toll from the novel coronavirus in Canada more than doubled from the day prior, with 69 lives reported taken on Tuesday.

A further 705 new cases of COVID-19 were also identified across Canada as the country moved into its second week of daily cases ranging below the 1,000 mark.


READ MORE:
How many Canadians have the new coronavirus? Total number of confirmed cases by region

Tuesday’s numbers brings Canada’s total lab-confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths to 92,399 and 7,395, respectively.

Of those total cases, over 50,000 people have recovered from the virus. Canada-wide coronavirus tests have also surpassed 1.8 million.

Ontario, which reported 446 new cases surpassed the total reported by Quebec at 239 for the second straight day however.

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Until Monday, Quebec was generally considered the epicentre of Canada’s COVID-19 outbreak as both daily reported cases and deaths within the province topped the country over the course of the pandemic.

Both cases and deaths within the eastern province account for more than half of Canada’s totals.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

Several other provinces have also announced new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday.






3:22
Coronavirus around the world: June 2, 2020


Coronavirus around the world: June 2, 2020

British Columbia reported only four new cases of the virus, whereas Alberta added another 13 infections. No fatalities linked to COVID-19 were reported by either province.

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Manitoba also announced two new cases of the virus. The province’s death toll, however, has remained at seven since the first week of May.


READ MORE:
Canada sees lowest daily coronavirus death toll in 2 months, 759 new cases

In Atlantic Canada, only New Brunswick was the only province to report a new case of the virus.

More to come…

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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In their own words: political leaders in Canada weigh in on Trump's response to U.S. protests – CBC.ca

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Canadian political leaders are weighing in on U.S. President Donald Trump’s handling of anti-racism protests sweeping across the United States in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of law enforcement.

While most leaders were reluctant to single out Trump by name, both Nova Scotia’s premier and Ottawa’s mayor had plenty to say about behaviour that they described as “offensive” and “disgraceful.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Asked about U.S. President Donald Trump threatening the use of military force against protestors in the United States, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paused for 21 seconds before saying “we all watch in horror and consternation.” He did not comment on Trump. 2:59

Trudeau’s answer to a question about Trump’s decision to have protesters moved with tear gas and riot police — so he could have his picture taken outside a church — has been talked about more for what he didn’t say than for what he did say.

The prime minister took 21 seconds to think before delivering an answer that focused on the discrimination faced by people of colour in Canada.

When pressed further to respond to Trump’s threat to call in the military into deal with protesters, the prime minister said his focus was on Canadians, not United States domestic politics.

“My job as a Canadian prime minister is to stand up for Canadians, to stand up for our interests, to stand up for our values,” he said. “That is what have done from the very beginning, that is what I will continue to do.”

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland

Asked why the government won’t criticize U.S. President Donald Trump by name over his threats to use the army against protesters, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland avoided talking about the president and said she’s worried about “Canadian complacency” regarding anti-black racism. 2:09

The deputy prime minister followed Trudeau’s position closely, noting that Canada has its own problems with anti-black racism and unconscious bias.

“What I am concerned about, actually, is Canadian complacency. I think that it’s really, really important for us to set our own house in order and for us to really be aware of the pain that anti-black racism causes here in our own country,” she said.

“We as Canadians, all of us, need to take this very traumatic moment for many people in the world as an opportunity to look at what we are doing in Canada and to work hard to do better.”

Ontario Premier Doug Ford

Ontario Premier Doug Ford weighs in on the violent protests that have swept the United States after George Floyd died at the hands of law enforcement. 1:22

Ford also avoided directly criticizing how the United States’ leadership has handled the protests, but he did say that he is glad to live in a country that doesn’t suffer from the same racial divisions and systemic racism seen in the U.S.

“They have their issues in the U.S. and they have to fix their issues, but it’s like night and day compared to Canada,” Ford said. “I’m proud to be Canadian. I’m proud to be the premier of Ontario.

“Thank God that we’re different than the United States. We don’t have the systemic, deep roots they’ve had for years … The difference between the U.S. and Canada, for the most part, for the most part — we get along.”

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil 

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil weighs in on the quality of political leadership in the United States amid wide-spread violent protests over the death of George Floyd at the hands of police. 0:23

McNeil offered a less diplomatic comment when speaking about Floyd’s death and the Trump administration’s response to the protests that followed.

“When you watch what’s happened south of the border, where a black American was killed at the hands of law enforcement, you understand the outrage and hurt and anger that people are feeling,” he said. 

“Quite frankly, the political response in the United States has been offensive … to the world.”

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson weighs in on the Trump administration’s response to the anti-racism protests that have swept across the United States 0:42

Watson offered what may have been some of the sharpest criticism of the Trump administration coming from a Canadian politician — singling out the president by name and calling his behaviour throughout the crisis “disgraceful.”

“I think it was disgraceful. Clearing out peaceful protesters so he could have a photo-op holding a Bible,” said Watson. 

“Presidents and leaders of organizations should be calming the waters and instill a sense of hope, and not [creating] greater chaos. What we’ve seen in the United States is both sad and remarkable but unfortunately, with this president, somewhat predictable.

“He seems to like to take gas and throw it on the fire.”

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