The Canadian Press
MONTREAL — The Maple Leafs have relied on Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner for the bulk of their offence this season. Toronto’s supporting cast showed the team’s lesser lights are also capable of contributing in big moments. Justin Holl and Ilya Mikheyev scored their first goals of the campaign 42 seconds apart early in Wednesday’s third period after Travis Dermott also opened his account to tie the game 1-1 as the Leafs recovered from a rocky start to defeat the Montreal Canadiens 4-2. Toronto fell behind when Josh Anderson buried the home side’s opening salvo, but rebounded with Dermott picking a corner on Carey Price, Holl blasting one upstairs, and Mikheyev bagging another off the rush. “That’s all really positive stuff for us,” said Matthews, who saw his eight-game goal streak come to an end. Those guys start feeling it, they get confidence and they start rolling. “It was a huge win.” Zach Hyman, into an empty net off an assist from Matthews that extended the star centre’s point streak to 11 games, helped set up Mikheyev’s goal before icing things for Toronto (11-2-1), which got 33 saves from Frederik Andersen. Jake Muzzin added three assists and John Tavares had two as the Leafs improved to 8-0-1 over their last nine games. Marner, meanwhile, saw his eight-game point streak come to an end. Toronto now holds a five-point lead over its Original Six rival atop the NHL and all-Canadian North Division standings after a hard-fought victory inside the Bell Centre, which would have been rocking in a normal season, but instead remains devoid of fans because of COVID-19 restrictions. “It’s massive,” Tavares said of getting contributions up and down the roster. “We’ve got guys throughout our lineup that can contribute offensively, I think there’s no doubt about that.” Tomas Tatar had the other goal for Montreal (8-3-2), which got 20 stops from Price. “We knew it was going to be a challenge,” Anderson said. “I thought we set the tempo at the start of the game and overall played pretty good. “A few bounces went their way and they capitalized.” The Canadiens have a quick turnaround with the Edmonton Oilers waiting in the wings Thursday in the second half of a back-to-back, while the Leafs will head home to prepare for Saturday’s rematch with Montreal — the third of 10 meetings between the clubs in 2021. Tied 1-1 through 40 minutes, Toronto pushed ahead at 1:50 of the third when Holl was given all day to load up and rip a slapshot by Price’s glove with the teams playing 4 on 4. “I’ve uncorked it now,” Holl said with a smile of the blast that resulted in his first goal since Feb. 27, 2020. “There’s no turning back.” The defenceman said he could see teammate William Nylander — usually a far more adept shooter — calling for the puck before deciding to give it a go himself. “As I came down I was like, ‘Oh man, Willy’s going to want this biscuit,'” Holl said. “It ended up going in, and all’s well that ends well.” Price, who watched three of Montreal’s five previous games as the Canadiens look to get the most out of their starter with a dependable backup in Jack Allen now in the fold, was beaten again at 2:32 when Mikheyev found the back of the net after Alexander Kerfoot fanned on his intial effort. The goal was the winger’s first since Dec. 27, 2020 — the same night he suffered a serious wrist laceration from a skate blade. “He must have had the most chances in the league without one yet,” Tavares said of Mikheyev’s breakthrough. “Definitely great to see him get rewarded the way he’s been playing.” Montreal made a push as the period wore on, with Tatar scoring his fourth with 3:20 left in regulation off a scramble to make it 3-2, but the Leafs and Andersen held the fort until Hyman sealed it. “We talked about having our best period of the year between the second and the third,” Tavares said. “I don’t know if it was our best, but certainly the way we came out suited ourselves, got the two-goal lead and took the game in our hands.” Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said he was happy to see his team respond after a shaky first 10 minutes. “Our job as a team is to help (Andersen) out, and I thought we did that,” he said. “Defensively, we didn’t give them very much at all. “I had this as the lowest number of scoring chances we’ve given up in a game all season.” Montreal entered the marquee matchup rested following Saturday’s 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators, while Toronto was playing its fourth game in seven nights after sweeping the Vancouver Canucks three straight at Scotiabank Arena. The Canadiens opened the scoring 76 seconds into the first on a sequence started and finished by Anderson. The big winger dislodged the puck from Muzzin with a hit in the neutral zone before taking a pass from Jonathan Drouin and beating Andersen off the rush to score his ninth and pull even with Tyler Toffoli for the team lead. The Leafs, who weren’t good through 40 minutes Monday against Vancouver before coming alive to secure a 3-1 victory, again took a while to get going, but started to find their legs as the period wore on. Tavares, who had a great chance early in the second, was left bloodied and forced into concussion protocol later in the period when the Toronto captain’s face slammed off the ice after getting tied up with Canadiens counterpart Shea Weber. With Tavares back and playing inspired hockey, Toronto got even when Dermott, who returned to the lineup following a two-game absence because of a charley horse, wired his first beyond Price’s blocker at 15:48 with the teams also playing 4 on 4 after the Leafs hemmed the Canadiens in their zone. Asked if he knew Dermott, who scored his first goal in 411 days, and Holl had those shots in their tool belts, Keefe flashed a grin. “No doubt,” he said. “They only pull it out when it counts the most.” This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 10, 2021. ___ Follow @JClipperton_CP on Twitter The Canadian Press
Saskatoon economy continues to recover from COVID-19 – CBC.ca
The Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority (SREDA) says the tide is turning for city businesses, roughly one year after the arrival of COVID-19 in the province.
On Thursday, the business group released its latest Saskatoon Economic Recovery Tracker Report, which estimates the city’s economy has recovered to 58.5 per cent of pre-COVID levels.
SREDA CEO Alex Fallon says passing the halfway point in the province’s economic recovery is a significant milestone.
“Overall, we’re happy where we’re at because we can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Fallon.
“Being halfway over that recovery is, I think, a good psychological benefit and impact.”
According to the report, different sectors of the economy are at very different stages of recovery.
While retail sales and manufacturing have completely rebounded at 100 per cent of their levels last year, employment is down by 15,900 jobs and hotel stays are only at 52.9 per cent recovered.
Fallon said small businesses continue to be especially hard hit by COVID-19.
“The longer this goes on, the more difficult it is for them,” he said.
“But on the positive side, what we’re starting to see is the overall economy starting to recover. And that bodes well for small businesses, because hopefully more customers will be coming back to them.”
The CEO said governments need to be careful while crafting their re-opening plans.
“It’ll be important that when the economy does continue to open more, we don’t have to go back into some sort of shutdown because that could be hard for companies to sustain,” he said.
“If people continue to have confidence in this recovery, that’s a good thing. And if we have to go down into a bunch of further lockdowns, then that has a negative impact on confidence.”
The recovery tracker report used numbers from Statistics Canada, the Conference Board of Canada, the International Monetary Fund and industry associations to draft the report.
Exclusive: El Salvador seeks IMF funding, sees 'golden opportunity' for economy, says finance minister – TheChronicleHerald.ca
By Anthony Esposito and Nelson Renteria
(Reuters) – El Salvador is talking to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) about securing some $1.3 billion in financing and sees a “golden opportunity” to revitalize its economy after the ruling party’s big win in legislative elections, a top government official said.
Finance Minister Alejandro Zelaya told Reuters in an interview that El Salvador wants to get a 36-month extended fund facility approved by the IMF, similar to the program announced this week for fellow Central American country Costa Rica.
“It will help us leverage the budgetary gaps for 2021, 2022 and 2023” and help lower the highs costs associated with El Salvador’s debt, Zelaya said.
El Salvador sovereign dollar bonds jumped on Tuesday after President Nayib Bukele, declared a landslide win in Sunday’s voting, saying his party and its allies had secured the biggest majority in the country’s history.
“What (the ruling) New Ideas party and President Bukele achieved on Sunday is truly a golden opportunity for El Salvador’s economy to take off,” said Zelaya.
Fitch Ratings said the legislative election result ends political gridlock that had hindered policy implementation and dented El Salvador’s ability to tap external funding.
That gridlock led to an over-reliance on domestic market borrowing to meet high government funding needs, pushing borrowing costs higher, the ratings agency said.
Zelaya said financing from international multilateral lenders should make El Salvador’s debt and public spending sustainable. For 2021 “we need financing of around $2 billion, including the short-term debt management plan,” he added.
Integral reform of El Salvador’s pension system was needed so pensions do not put pressure on government finances, Zelaya said.
While no deal has been struck, the IMF could potentially disburse up to $450 million this year, on top of prior commitments of $250 million from the Inter-American Development Bank, $200 million from the World Bank and $600 million from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, he said.
Asked when the deal with the IMF might be finalized, Zelaya said it was still too early to say.
“We’re working to reach an agreement. It takes two.”
(Reporting by Anthony Esposito in Mexico City and Nelson Renteria in San Salvador; editing by Grant McCool)
Pandemic Toll on Toronto's Visitor Economy Surpasses $8 Billion – Canada NewsWire
Analysis by Destination Toronto marks one full year of the pandemic’s impact
TORONTO, March 4, 2021 /CNW/ – The global pandemic, including the associated travel restrictions and lockdowns over the past 12 months, have resulted in $8.35 billion in lost economic activity from visitor spending in Toronto. When the Greater Toronto region is included, the economic losses grow to more than $14 billion. The new analysis by Destination Toronto demonstrates the devastating impact the pandemic has had on the city’s tourism and hospitality sector and the broader economy that benefits from visitor spending.
The analysis stems from Destination Toronto’s Visitor Economy Study released in late 2019. Produced by Tourism Economics and done in partnership with the Toronto Region Board of Trade, the study found that Toronto’s 27.5 million visitors generate an economic impact of $10.3 billion and support 70,000 jobs (based on 2018 data) in the community.
“When we released the Visitor Economy Study in late 2019, it showed the enormous impact of visitor spending on our local economy, and how that economic activity supports businesses and benefits all of us in city, the province and the country,” said Scott Beck, President & CEO of Destination Toronto. “Little did we know that the same study would soon be used to show the enormity of the impact of the pandemic on the people and businesses that make up the visitor economy.”
The new analysis highlights the hardest hit sectors in the industry impacted by reduced visitor spending including: retail ($1.67 billion in lost economic activity), food and beverage ($1.3 billion), accommodations ($1.2 billion) and attractions and entertainment ($707 million). In addition, reduced visitor spending resulted in $1.44 billion in unrealized tax revenue for all three levels of government ($711 million, provincial; $528 million, federal; and $205 million, municipal).
“We are working non-stop to get through this pandemic so that we can safely restart and reopen our city. Prior to the pandemic, Toronto was welcoming millions of people from the around the world who were eager to see and experience our city. One of the hardest hit areas during the pandemic has been the hospitality and tourism sector but I am absolutely confident that this sector will come back strong with more jobs than ever before,” said Mayor John Tory. “I am determined to work with Destination Toronto and businesses across the city to attract visitors and ensure all the success we had before COVID-19 continues when these tough times are over.”
One of the sectors of the tourism and hospitality industry devastated by the pandemic is the meetings and events industry. Destination Toronto tracked 463 conferences and events that have cancelled or postponed since the start of the pandemic. The resulting cancellations resulted in $833 million in losses in the meetings and events sector, alone.
“Simply stated, 380,000 attendees didn’t come to Toronto over the past year. As a result, they didn’t stay in hotels or visit attractions, didn’t spend money in our retail shops, or eat in our restaurants,” said Beck. “Prior to the pandemic, Toronto had been riding a wave of momentum and experienced annual growth in visitor spending for over a decade. The foundation of our past success, rooted in the quality of our city’s experience, gives us confidence in the inevitable recovery of our industry.”
ABOUT DESTINATION TORONTO
Toronto’s visitor economy is a vital economic engine for the city, generating more than $10 billion in economic activity and supporting 70,000 jobs in 2019. Destination Toronto’s mandate is to reflect the breadth and diversity of Toronto’s people, places and culture to inspire residents and visitors to meet, visit and explore our city. Operating in partnership with the City of Toronto, the Greater Toronto Hotel Association and the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, Destination Toronto markets and promotes the city to global travellers, attracts and supports major meetings and events, and supports local businesses to maximize the opportunities of visitor spending. For more information please visit DestinationToronto.com.
Destination Toronto on Social
SOURCE Destination Toronto
For further information: MEDIA CONTACT: Matt McNama, Corporate Communications Manager, Destination Toronto, 416-994-2258, [email protected]
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