Inflation in Canada unexpectedly picked up in October, partly on the back of rising home ownership costs.
Annual inflation accelerated to 0.7 per cent, from 0.5 per cent in September, Statistics Canada reported Wednesday in Ottawa. That exceeded the 0.4 per cent anticipated by economists in a Bloomberg survey. An index of replacement costs for homeowners rose by the most in 30 years last month, the agency said.
Even with the increase, price pressures remain muted as the nation grapples with the aftermath of the pandemic and renewed restrictions. The Bank of Canada predicts persistent slack in the economy and labor market will keep inflation below its two per cent target until at least 2023, allowing policy makers to keep interest rates historically low for the foreseeable future.
“October marks a mild high-side surprise for Canadian inflation,” Doug Porter, chief economist at the Bank of Montreal, said in a report to investors. “But the big picture is that inflation remains below one per cent, and probably isn’t going far with the economy about to face some further near-term challenges amid renewed restrictions.”
The acceleration narrows gap between Canada and inflation in the U.S., which has been hovering around one per cent.
The homeowners’ index, derived from the price of new homes, rose 1.4 per cent, the largest monthly increase since June 1991, the agency said.
On a monthly basis, prices rose 0.4 per cent, compared with a 0.2 per cent median forecast in the Bloomberg survey. Food and shelter costs were the main upward contributors.
Core inflation measures — often seen as a better gauge of underlying price pressures — ticked up to an average of 1.77 per cent in October, the highest reading since February, from 1.7 per cent in September. Economists were forecasting core inflation at 1.73 per cent.
–With assistance from Erik Hertzberg.
Watch live: Ontario Premier Doug Ford makes an announcement – CTV Toronto
Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he’s still pushing to “knock down” the 14-day quarantine for travellers returning into Canada from overseas.
Ford made the comment on Wednesday afternoon after being asked whether border restrictions between Canada and the United States should be tightened given the escalating number of COVID-19 cases in both countries.
In response to the question, Ford said he still pushing to replace the quarantine with a rapid COVID-19 testing program, similar to what Alberta implemented earlier this year.
Under the plan, international travellers receive a COVID-19 test upon entering Canada before going into quarantine. If the test comes back negative, those travellers are allowed to leave quarantine but will have to take another test six or seven days after their initial arrival.
“We’re working with the federal government right now at Toronto Pearson to reduce the downtime once you come back,” Ford said. “You have to quarantine for 14-days, we want to knock that down.”
“I’m really pushing it because if you can land and you can get tested right away and then you get tested, I think it’s five to seven days later, and they both come out negative, you should be able to go on your way.”
Ford said he is expecting an answer later Wednesday afternoon on the status of the pilot project.
Ford went on to say that he believes the federal government needs to “step it up” when it comes to travellers returning in to Canada and at the very least take people’s temperatures.
“Don’t just let them walk off and hop in a taxi and away they go,” Ford said.
He also said he believes that some people are not adhering the quarantine rules when arriving back in Canada.
Feds plan to provide Canadians with tools to fight coronavirus vaccine misinformation – Global News
Speaking to reporters at the 2020 Canadian Immunization Conference on Wednesday, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said the webinars will include a broad range of topics, including Health Canada regulatory perspectives, the different types of vaccines that will be available to Canadians, how to run immunization clinics as well as guidance for use from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization.
“Because of the social media and its Internet age, we’ve got even more of a challenge on our hands than anyone else in tackling pandemics of the past,” said Tam, adding that it was important Canadians understood how vaccines are developed.
“The regulatory process is rigorous and (the federal government) would only provide vaccines that have gone through safety evaluations and efficacy evaluations.”
An Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News found a majority of Canadians surveyed, 59 per cent, said they would still support for mandatory COVID-19 vaccines — but more than 70 per cent said they would feel nervous taking a vaccine that went through such quick development.
Tam said the webinars will seek to dispel some of those fears, and explain how scientists were able to compress years worth of vaccine research into what she described as an “incredible global collaboration that has resulted in vaccines being available essentially within the year of the start of a pandemic.”
U.K. becomes first country to approve Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine
The top health official did not explicitly say when the webinars would be rolling out, but said to “expect the first webinars to be delivered very shortly.”
Tam’s announcement comes as Health Canada reviews multiple vaccine candidates, including Pfizer and BioNtech’s, which became the world’s first vaccine to receive approval after it was authorized by British health officials earlier on Wednesday.
The federal government has so far secured a minimum of 20 million doses from Pfizer and BioNtech, with the option to secure millions more if they’re approved.
According to Tam, Canadians can expect to see the first shipments of the vaccine roll out early next year, adding that front-line workers, high-risk groups like seniors and those in more isolated Indigenous communities will be considered for prioritization.
“As we roll out a vaccine, we have to take into account who is most at risk — at risk of exposure of severe outcomes and ensuring that these populations have priority access,” she said.
“Vaccine developers in phase three clinical trials are including some of these key populations.”
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Are you worried that people in other countries might get a COVID-19 vaccine first? – Castanet.net
A new poll suggests most Canadians aren’t currently worried that people in other countries might get a COVID-19 vaccine first.
Thirty-seven per cent of respondents to a survey conducted by Léger and the Association for Canadian Studies say they are very concerned that Canada may not receive doses of a new COVID vaccine as early as the United States.
“That’s not necessarily low, but I think most pundits would have expected this number to be much higher,” said Léger executive vice-president Christian Bourque.
Meanwhile, 48 per cent say they are not concerned about getting a vaccine first and 10 per cent say they don’t care at all or are not planning to get vaccinated anyway.
Getting a vaccine before other countries doesn’t seem to be “a major (issue for the Liberal government), which is contrary to what we might have thought … when the prime minister actually said that we would not be the first ones to get doses,” Bourque said.
The amount of concern regarding getting a COVID-19 vaccine first varies along party lines, with 45 per cent of self-identified Conservative supporters saying they are very concerned that Canada may not receive doses of a new COVID vaccine at the same time as other countries. Only 38 per cent of Liberal supporters say they are concerned.
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