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More jobs added across Canada, but minimal improvement to Alberta unemployment – CTV Toronto



Statistics Canada says most of Canada is recovering toward pre-COVID-19 employment numbers, but Alberta’s unemployment rate is still hurting.

The agency released the data in its monthly jobs survey Friday, finding the country added 378,000 positions through the month of September, representing a 2.1 per cent increase in the national employment rate.

Despite those positions, Alberta’s jobless rate is still among the highest of all Canadian provinces at 11.7 per cent. Only Newfoundland and Labrador has higher unemployment at 14.8 per cent (approximately 37,000 residents).

The survey found 38,000 new jobs in Alberta over the month of September, but more residents entered the job market at the same time, stunting the reduction in unemployment.


When it comes to pre-pandemic levels, Statistics Canada said many provinces moved closer to the pre-pandemic employment numbers recorded in February, but Alberta was lagging behind.

Back in February 2020, approximately 2,329,900 Albertans had jobs. According to the latest data, that figure sits at 2,204,000.

Another issue facing Alberta identified by Statistics Canada was a deficiency in the manufacturing sector. According to September’s numbers, the employment in that industry possesses approximately 17,000 fewer positions than those recorded in February.

More data shows sales in the manufacturing sector have dropped by more than $1 billion between July 2020 ($5.1 billion) and July 2019 ($6.3 billion).

However, Alberta’s accommodation and food services sector remained the hardest hit in the year-over-year statistics, with more than 34,000 jobs lost in that period.

Information, culture and recreation had the highest number of jobs added between Sept. 2019 and 2020 (approximately 7,900). Finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing enjoyed some gains (5,000 positions) as did the health care and social assistance sector (2,500 jobs).

Calgary skyline


After being recorded as having the highest unemployment rate during the month of August, Calgary witnessed a near-two per cent drop in September. Statistics Canada says the city’s unemployment is now 12.6 per cent, the same as Edmonton’s, which also saw a one per cent drop over the month.

In Calgary, approximately 119,700 residents are without work while about 104,200 Edmontonians are currently unemployed.

Toronto now possesses the highest unemployment rate among major urban centres across Canada, but not by much at 12.8 per cent. Approximately 487,000 people are unemployed in that city, Statistics Canada says.

Canada’s unemployment rate now sits at nine per cent, a 1.2 per cent drop from August.

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Toronto and Peel Region enter lockdown for at least 28 days – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News



Premier Doug Ford is standing behind his government’s decision to suspend in-person shopping at all non-essential retailers in Toronto and Peel amid criticism from small business owners who say they are being unfairly singled out.

Toronto and Peel officially entered the lockdown stage of Ontario’s framework for COVID-19 restrictions at 12:01 a.m., on Monday. As a result personal care services, like barbers and salons, have been forced to close and restaurants can only do takeout and delivery.

Retail stores are also limited to curbside pickup only with some exceptions for grocers, hardware stores, corner stores and discount and big box retailers selling groceries.

Speaking with reporters during his regular briefing on Monday, Ford said that he knows it is “not fair” that some big box retailers like Walmart can continue to operate while smaller businesses have to shut down but he said it would have been a “logistical nightmare” to require large retailers to cordon off non-essential goods, as is the case under a similar order in Manitoba.

“I know this is not fair and that’s why we put the additional $300 million into supporting small businesses and took care of their property taxes, their energy costs,” he said. “We’re doing everything we can as a province but the quicker we can get through this, the quicker we can get this vaccine out there, then we can get people back and open up,

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is calling on the Progressive Conservative government to allow three customers at a time into small retail stores.

Ford, however, told reporters that he is not considering any changes to the lockdown rules at this point, much to the dismay of some retailers.

“How does it make sense to shut down the small flower store but allow people to line up at Walmart to buy a bouquet of flowers? To shut down the small independent bookseller but allow them to go to Costco, line up and buy books there? How does that help prevent COVID? Never mind how fair it is,” Dan Kelly, who is the president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, told CP24 earlier on Monday. “These rules make no sense at all.”

Kelly said that the CFIB had already forecast that 160,000 small business in Canada would close following the first wave of the pandemic and that the situation has gotten even more critical since then.

He said that something needs to be done to help shuttered retailers in Toronto and Peel and soon or more will be “toast.”

“We think we have seen a hollowing out of the retail sector but we have seen nothing compared to what will happen if they miss out on Christmas,” he warned.

Tory urges people to stay home

The province announced the added restrictions for Toronto and Peel on Friday as new cases of COVID-19 continued to surge in both jurisdictions.

In anticipation of the rules going into effect, several malls extended their hours over the weekend and there were reports of long lineups at stores.

Speaking with CP24, on Monday morning Toronto Mayor John Tory said that the strict new rules are an important, even if there is not a lot of data pointing to widespread transmission in settings like retail stores, for example.

“We don’t really know in every single case exactly where people picked up this virus, we just know it is spreading and was spreading in a fashion last week and the week before and the week before that that was clearly unacceptable in terms of the trend line we were on,” he said. “Look it is a sad day today just to see this kind of thing having to happen but again the choice was to not do these kind of things and have a much longer, much broader, much worse kind of lockdown happen latter when we had completely lost control of this thing as you have seen elsewhere in the world.”

While the lockdown will shutter a number of businesses across Toronto and Peel, schools and childcare centres will remain open as will services deemed essential like dentist offices and physiotherapists.

Several industries that were mostly brought to a halt in the spring, like film and television production and construction, are also exempt.

“I am a little bit concerned that this shutdown doesn’t focus on the largest area of spread. In Brampton our largest source of transmission is industrial settings. Our largest two sectors are transportation logistics and food processing and neither of those sectors are shut down because they are considered essential,” Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown told CP24 on Monday. “So this isn’t truly a lockdown for Brampton. Small businesses have been shut down but with the largest portion of our workforce being essential workers nothing has really changed.”

In addition to the new rules in Toronto and Peel, Durham Region and Waterloo have also been moved into the red category alongside York Region as of today. The rules for that category limit restaurants, gyms and food courts to 10 indoor patrons at a time.

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Atlantic bubble bursts as P.E.I., N.L. exit coronavirus pact – Global News



The provincial governments of Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador announced Monday morning that they are taking a break from the Atlantic bubble as COVID-19 cases rise in the region.

The two regions backed out after Nova Scotia and New Brunswick saw an increase in cases, reporting 44 and 77 active COVID-19 cases, respectively, as of Sunday.

Read more:
N.B. asks travellers from Halifax to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms

N.L. Premier Andrew Furey said the Atlantic bubble has been a source of pride for the region, but the situation has changed.

“I have made the tough decision to implement a circuit break,” Furey said.

“As your premier, as a physician and as a concerned father and citizen, I must do what I promised: protect the best interest of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.”

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As of Wednesday, all travellers from the Atlantic bubble to N.L. will have to self-isolate for 14 days. Non-essential travel will not be permitted.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Newfoundland and Labrador implements ‘circuit break’ from Atlantic bubble, suspends all non-essential travel'

Coronavirus: Newfoundland and Labrador implements ‘circuit break’ from Atlantic bubble, suspends all non-essential travel

Coronavirus: Newfoundland and Labrador implements ‘circuit break’ from Atlantic bubble, suspends all non-essential travel

P.E.I. Premier Dennis King announced the province has made the same decision after talking to other Atlantic premiers over the weekend.

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As of Monday, the province is temporarily suspending all non-essential travel to and from P.E.I. for at least two weeks, King said.

King said he doesn’t think this is a step backward.

“I feel it is a proactive measure, a preventative step,” he said.

He said the decision is in the best interest of those in P.E.I., Canada’s smallest province.

“We have a health system that is strong, that is ready,” but King said the system has limitations. A COVID-19 outbreak may put pressure on the system, which could easily become overwhelmed.

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Read more:
8 new coronavirus cases reported in N.S., largest single-day increase since May

For the next two weeks, King said he will be monitoring the situation and then decide if this break needs to be extended.

In a Monday morning statement, the Nova Scotia government said the Atlantic premiers have discussed “the need for extra caution on non-essential travel in the region.”

“Some provinces may take additional measures,” the statement read.

The Atlantic bubble began in July, and this is the first time that a member has backed out.

More to come.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: New Brunswick breaks record for new COVID-19 case numbers'

Coronavirus: New Brunswick breaks record for new COVID-19 case numbers

Coronavirus: New Brunswick breaks record for new COVID-19 case numbers


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

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Windsor's Frank W. Begley Public School reporting 37 confirmed COVID-19 cases – CTV News Windsor



A Windsor school has seen a dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit reported on Monday there are 37 confirmed cases and two probable cases at Frank W. Begley Elementary School.

According to the province’s website, it is the largest outbreak in an Ontario school.

WECHU says 29 students and eight staff members have tested positive.The presumed index case is believed to be a staff member.

“They could be the one who spread it to the rest of the school,” says Ahmed. “It’s not to blame that index case, that this happened because they didn’t follow anything, but I think it’s just how we are trying to work through an outbreak investigation.”

Ahmed says they can’t pinpoint where the presumed index case acquired the virus. The earliest case was reported on Nov. 8.

The health unit declared an outbreak at the school on Tuesday and students and staff members were dismissed.

“Dismissing the entire school really helped us from a control perspective, so there was no ongoing spread,” says Ahmed.

He adds they are still trying to paint a picture of how the cases spread between cohorts.

Windsor Regional Hospital set up dedicated clinics for the school community to get tested.There are about 430 students and staff members at the school. The health unit says 283 students, 47 staff and 141 family members have been tested as a result of this initiative.

There is also an outbreak at W. J. Langlois Catholic Elementary School, where two students and two staff members have tested positive for the virus. The school is also closed.

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