Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is pleading with Canadians to follow public health guidelines on COVID-19, warning that stiff enforcement measures could be imposed if people don’t stop engaging in behaviour that puts lives at risk.
As images emerged over the weekend of people gathering in groups at beaches and parks, and for parties, Trudeau said individuals taking part in such “extremely concerning” activities are putting not only themselves at risk but also health care workers, the elderly and other vulnerable people.
“We’ve all seen the pictures online of people who seem to think they’re invincible. Well, you’re not,” he said.
“Enough is enough. Go home and stay home. This is what we all need to be doing, and we’re going to make sure this happens, whether by educating people more on the risks, or by enforcing the rules, if that’s needed. Nothing that could help is off the table.”
Trudeau said the government has not ruled out any enforcement options. He’s expected to speak with the premiers later today to discuss steps going forward.
Trudeau urged Canadians to follow the recommendations of public health officials, who are asking Canadians to practise frequent handwashing and social distancing, stay home whenever possible, avoid non-essential travel and self-isolate in cases where there has been a risk of exposure to the virus.
“We have to trust them and we have to listen,” Trudeau said.
Trudeau’s remarks come as the federal government launches a $30-million advertising campaign to raise awareness about measures to stop the spread of infection.
The ads, featuring Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, will run for the rest of March and at least through April on all Canadian television networks and radio stations across the country, as well as in national, regional and local print outlets.
In the ads, Tam warns that the COVID-19 pandemic presents a “serious public health threat” and reminds Canadians of the importance of the measures to help delay the spread of COVID-19. By slowing the rate of new infections, officials hope to lessen the burden on the health care system.
There are now more than 1,550 confirmed cases, and at least 20 deaths, in Canada.
Speaking outside his residence at Rideau Cottage, Trudeau said there will be a $5-billion credit program to support farmers. He also announced $192 million in new funding for the development and production of vaccines to stop the spread of the virus.
Trudeau remains in self-isolation because of his wife Sophie’s positive test for COVID-19.
Some provinces recommending isolation for domestic travellers
Every province and territory has now declared either a state of emergency or a public health emergency, but to date the federal government has not invoked the Emergencies Act, which would give it special powers to enforce quarantines and limit movement.
Some provinces have adopted their own rules, which include mandatory self-isolation upon arrival from another province.
Health Minister Patty Hajdu also implored Canadians to take the recommendations of public health officials seriously. She warned that new measures could be imposed, such as a public hotline for reporting people who violate public health instructions.
“There are a number of ways that quarantine orders can be enforced and those could include random inspections, those could include hotlines,” she said.
“There are a number of different kinds of ways that these kinds of things can be enforced and we are looking at a variety of measures should we take that step.”
Some cities are imposing or considering fines for breaking rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
At a virtual council meeting Monday, Vancouver city council unanimously passed a motion allowing the city to fine businesses up to $50,000 and individuals up to $1,000 for breaking public health rules while the city is in a state of emergency.
Hajdu said Sunday the government is also considering the option of imposing financial or criminal penalties on Canadian travellers who don’t follow the government’s advice.
The Quarantine Act, which was updated in 2005 after the deadly SARS outbreak, gives the federal health minister the power to designate quarantine zones and fine or jail travellers who disobey quarantine requests.
If a designated quarantine officer believes that a traveller has refused to isolate themselves, they can ask a peace officer to arrest the traveller and bring them into quarantine.
Mental health concerns
Hajdu, meanwhile, acknowledged that social distancing measures could have a severe impact on mental health. She said the government is developing a new app for people to download to support their mental health needs.
Hajdu also warned of an elevated risk of domestic violence and child abuse when families are cooped up in close quarters and worried about money and the future.
“These are real and live issues that we haven’t forgotten about,” she said.
The House of Commons will reconvene Tuesday to adopt emergency measures announced earlier this week by the federal government to help Canadians and businesses hit financially by the health crisis.
Trudeau announced a massive $82-billion aid package that includes $27 billion in direct supports and another $55 billion to help business liquidity through tax deferrals.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said Monday that more should be done to help struggling Canadians; he suggested a payment of $2,000 per person plus $250 per child for immediate assistance. He also proposed a wage subsidy of 75 per cent so employers can keep staff on the payroll.
“These are two measures that are bold, but respond to the seriousness of the situation that we’re up against. So we need to immediately give Canadians help and we need to ensure that people are not losing their jobs,” he said.
Trudeau spoke today with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and is also expected to talk to Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe.
As COVID-19 cases mount around the world, the committees responsible for Canada’s involvement in Olympic and Paralympic sport have decided they won’t be sending athletes to Tokyo if the 2020 Summer Olympics go ahead as planned.
Times are tough for Canada's self-proclaimed french fry capital – CBC.ca
For the past few years, Ottawa’s Carole Richard has made an annual pilgrimage with her friends to the small town of Alfred, Ont., to sample the local spuds.
The village of about 1,200 people on County Road 17 — about 70 kilometres east of Ottawa — is, after all, the self-proclaimed french fry capital of Canada.
“I like small fries like these, well-cooked, a little dry,” said Richard, pausing between bites at the Landriault Snack Bar. “They’re super good.”
These days, however, fried potato enthusiasts like Richard only have one local option for satiating their cravings. Of the multiple chip stands and canteens that once dotted the village, only one — the Landriault Snack Bar — still remains.
“When we [were] here 10, 11 years ago, there were four,” owner Bruce Forget recently told Radio-Canada in a French-language interview.
“They all disappeared quietly,” he said.
Some in Alfred trace the decline of the fry shacks to the arrival of a Tim Hortons franchise at the village’s entrance.
Others cite the 2012 completion of Highway 50 on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River, which allowed motorists travelling between the National Capital Region and Montreal to bypass County Road 17 altogether.
There’s also the simple fact that the french fry business is hard work — one of the main reasons that Suzanne Villeneuve, owner of Miss Alfred, decided not to open her doors this winter.
Had she done so, her canteen would have celebrated its 50th anniversary this year.
“People can’t imagine [how busy it is],” Villeneuve told Radio-Canada in French, noting that all the food at Miss Alfred was homemade.
“It was 12 hours a day [six days a week]. On the seventh, you changed the oil and then finally took care of your own business.”
As for Forget, he agrees that running a fry shack is hard work — and is well aware that, when it comes to the village’s crispy claim to fame, he’s the only one left keeping it alive.
“I’m the last of the Mohicans,” he laughed.
Canada saw 221 new coronavirus cases Saturday — all of them from Ontario and Quebec – Globalnews.ca
Canada added 221 novel coronavirus cases on Saturday, all in Ontario and Quebec.
In Canada, the total number of COVID-19 cases diagnosed is 107,326, while 8,773 people have died. According to figures released Saturday, just over 3.6 million in the country had been tested for the virus.
Saturday’s numbers were incomplete though, as only six provinces released COVID-19 data that day. Missing are the provinces of British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Prince Edward Island and the territories.
In Ontario, officials reported 130 new cases and six deaths caused by COVID-19 for a total of 36,594 cases and 2,716 deaths. Saturday’s numbers mark an increase from Friday, which only saw a rise of 116 newly infected residents.
Over 1.6 million in the province have been tested while 32,422 people have recovered.
Quebec, the province hit hardest by the novel coronavirus,recorded more than 56,407 cases on Saturday after reporting 91 new confirmed cases — a drop from the 100 reported on Friday.
Eight more people have died, leaving the total number of deaths at 5,620. By Saturday, slightly less than half of all active cases had recovered while over 954,000 were tested.
Four out of the six provinces that released new data on Saturday haven’t seen new cases in the last two or more days.
In Manitoba, officials said no one has been diagnosed with COVID-19 since June 30, leaving the province’s total number of confirmed cases at 314 plus 11 cases considered presumptive. Seven people have died and just over 69,000 people have been tested as of Friday.
New Brunswick is on its third consecutive day without a new case of the COVID-19 and nobody in the province has died from the virus since mid-June. All but three of the province’s 166 infected residents have recovered while 46,214 have been tested.
There were no new cases recorded in Nova Scotia on Saturday, which is on its fourth day without any newly confirmed cases and 20th day without COVID-19-related deaths. More than 58,000 people have been tested so far and 1,000 have recovered from the virus.
Newfoundland and Labrador, too, had no new cases or deaths to report on Saturday. Only three people in the province have died from the virus while 258 of its 262 cases have recovered. Over 20,000 residents have been tested.
British Columbia, which last released data on Friday, has recorded 187 deaths and 3,028 confirmed cases — nine of which are ideologically linked, which refers to when a patient may have been in contact with one or more people who tested positive with the virus but hasn’t been tested.
Overall, Alberta has seen 8,596 cases and 160 deaths. As of Friday in Saskatchewan, 15 people have died from the virus while the number of cases remains at 815. Prince Edward Island has yet to record any deaths linked to the virus, but confirmed 33 cases as of Friday.
Nunavut has yet to have its first confirmed case, while the Yukon and Northwest Territories have each recorded 11 and five cases of the virus, respectively. All known cases in the territories have recovered.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Canada reports 10 new coronavirus-related deaths, more than 300 new cases – Globalnews.ca
Cases of the novel coronavirus in Canada surpassed 107,000 July 10, after 322 new infections were reported by provincial health authorities.
The new cases brings the total number of lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country to 107,105. Another 10 deaths linked to the virus were also announced Friday, bringing Canada’s official coronavirus death toll to 8,759.
A further 70,842 people — over 66 per cent of Canada’s total infected — have since recovered from the virus, while another 3.3 million tests have been administered.
Ontario reported the highest number of new coronavirus cases on Friday, with 116 new cases and seven deaths. The province’s total COVID-19 infections now sit at 36,464, with 2,710 deaths from the virus.
However, at least 32,155 people have recovered.
Quebec, the province hit hardest but the coronavirus, announced 100 new cases on Friday. Three new deaths were also reported within the province — one of which occurred before July 2.
Coronavirus: Psychologists break down why some aggressively oppose mandatory mask rule
The province’s total cases and deaths stand at 56,316 and 5,612, respectfully.
Alberta reported 77 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, the highest daily increase in new infections since May 10. The death toll in the province was lowered to 160 on Friday after a previous fatality was determined to not be COVID-19 related.
Confirmed cases in the province now total at 8,596.
British Columbia added 25 new cases on Friday, as well as one new death. The new numbers bring B.C.’s total infected to 3,044 and its death toll to 187. A further 2,679 patients have since recovered.
Coronavirus: U.S. COVID-19 cases surge amid reopening debate
Saskatchewan announced two new cases of the virus on Friday, as well, bringing its total infected 815. The province’s deaths still sit at 15, while 757 people have recovered from the virus.
Both Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador reported just one new case each of the coronavirus on Friday, bringing their provincial case totals to 33 and 262, respectively.
On Friday, Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam released a statement in lieu of a daily in-person update.
“Resilience is a word that we have all come to understand in a deeper way as we face COVID-19 in our communities. It implies courage, tenacity and collaboration,” read the statement, which touches on the AIDS 2020 international conference.
“The HIV community has been a beacon in the fight against stigma. Approaches to community-led and culturally appropriate care, particularly in Indigenous communities, have served as models and improved our responses to other health challenges, including in the response to COVID-19.”
Worldwide, cases of the novel coronavirus have reached 12,459,000 according to a running tally kept by John Hopkins University.
Meanwhile, a total 558,683 people have since died.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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