Former U.S. President Barack Obama praised Canada’s response to COVID-19 on Saturday as he criticized President Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic, suggesting that the U.S. could’ve saved thousands of lives if it had acted more like its northern neighbours.
Obama’s comments were made during a drive-in rally held by Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in Michigan.
“Our mortality rate in the United States is two and a half times higher than Canada – think about that. If we had the same percentage of folks dying in Canada, as we do here, nearly 90,000 Americans would have died, instead of 230,000 Americans,” Obama said.
“If we had handled this pandemic like Canada did, 140,000 of our fellow Americans, might still be alive today. Think about that.”
In Canada, 10,136 people have died of COVID-19 as of Saturday. In the U.S., 230,316 people have died of COVID-19 and more than 9,110,000 have tested positive, according to tracking by Johns Hopkins University.
Based on those numbers, the U.S. has a lower case-to-fatality rate than Canada, at 2.5 per cent versus 4.3 per cent. However, the U.S. has a much higher number of deaths per 100,000 than Canada, at roughly 70 per 100,000 compared to 27 per 100,000.
Obama acknowledged COVID-19 would’ve been a tough file for any president to handle, but added: “This idea that somehow this White House has done anything but completely screw this up is nonsense.”
Obama toured the state as part of a final push to pump up voters ahead of election day on Tuesday. Michigan played a critical role in Trump’s 2016 victory, where he won by a slim margin of 11,000 votes.
Biden has invested heavily in the battleground state in hopes of flipping it for Democrats on Tuesday, and he currently holds a wide lead in the state, according to the latest polling averages.
As of Saturday, nearly 90 million voters had already cast ballots nationwide, according to a tally by the Associated Press, while tens of millions are still expected to vote before the polls close Tuesday night.
Michigan reported 3,793 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, the highest single-day case total since the pandemic began, and 31 deaths, according to the latest update from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Service.
Canadians now owe more than $2 trillion, Equifax says – CBC.ca
Consumer demand for credit intensified in the third quarter, driven chiefly by increases in mortgage balances and new auto loans, according to data released Monday by credit reporting agency Equifax.
Mortgage balances and new auto loans were up 6.6 per cent and 11.7 per cent year over year, respectively, according to Equifax. Overall average consumer debt increased 3.3 per cent compared with the third quarter of last year.
Rebecca Oakes, assistant vice-president of advanced analytics at Equifax Canada, said in an interview that growth in mortgages last quarter was especially high, with the largest increase among people under 35. That trend comes even as economic fallout from the pandemic and associated lockdown measures hit young people especially hard.
“In terms of new mortgages, that could be refinancing, or it could be brand-new, first-time home buyers or it could be people moving house,” Oakes said. “That was actually the highest value that we’ve seen ever.”
The increased demand for auto loans in the third quarter could have been a result of pent-up demand from people who had to wait to buy cars later in the year, Oakes said.
Total debt $2 trillion
The figures in Equifax’s report are drawn from banks and other lenders that provide data to the credit rating agency.
Equifax pegged total consumer debt at $2.04 trillion, while Statistics Canada reported in June that household debt had reached $2.3 trillion, with $1.77 in debt for every dollar of household disposable income.
More than three million consumers have chosen to use payment deferral programs since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Equifax. Since the start of this year, some banks have offered consumers the option to suspend their loan payments for several months, in recognition of the financial strain the pandemic has created for many households.
However, under the payment deferral programs, interest continues to accrue during the months for which payments are suspended.
The percentage of balances where credit users have missed three or more payments was at its lowest level since 2014, with deferral programs likely masking the true delinquency rates, according to Oakes.
Canada added over 6,000 new coronavirus cases each day since Friday, new data shows – Global News
Canada is now adding new coronavirus infections at a rate over three times what was seen during the first peak of the pandemic in May, new data reveals, as the country ends a particularly brutal month of rising cases and deaths.
The country saw 6,103 new cases of COVID-19 Monday, after the daily number inched closer to the 6,000-mark throughout the previous week.
But weekend data reported by British Columbia on Monday also raised the daily totals for Saturday and Sunday even further past that threshold. Saturday marked a new daily record of 6,488 infections, while Sunday brought another 6,195.
Those cases now bring the national total to 377,806 cases since the beginning of the pandemic. Of those, 299,972 are considered to be recovered, while another 2,545 patients are currently in hospital.
Canada’s death toll also rose to 12,130 after 66 new deaths were reported Monday. Another 32 deaths over the weekend in B.C. further added to the total.
November has been a particularly sobering month for the pandemic, as cases and deaths continued to climb despite new restrictions and other efforts from public health officials.
Roughly 140,000 people tested positive over the past 30 days — almost twice the number of new cases in October. It took from the start of the pandemic until mid-September for the country to confirm its first 140,000 cases.
Almost 2,000 people also died of complications from COVID-19 in November. While not as deadly as the first spring peak when roughly 150 people were dying daily, deaths have been steadily climbing along with infections.
The federal government closed the month by providing an update on the country’s economy, which pegged the current deficit projections at $382 billion this fiscal year and confirmed the government plans to issue a formal budget next year.
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada’s economic recovery will likely not begin until “deep into 2021,” but few details on how that recovery will be achieved were revealed Monday.
Freeland told the House of Commons the federal deficit likely won’t return to pre-pandemic levels until at least 2026, due to expected extensive spending on social programs and continued economic restrictions to curb the spread of the virus.
Ottawa releases much-anticipated fall economic statement
In the meantime, health officials are urging everyone to do their part and follow those restrictions into next year, as Canada and the rest of the world anxiously awaits the arrival of a vaccine.
“As with our last effort to bend the curve, and more so now, this is not going to be a quick solution but a test of our determination and endurance,” Canada’s chief medical health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said in a statement.
“While now is not the time to gather, we can take comfort in knowing that the sacrifices we are making today are for our tomorrow.
Ontario and Quebec, which have each been reporting over 1,000 daily cases for weeks, announced 1,746 and 1,333 new infections Monday, respectively. Quebec also reported another 23 new deaths, while officials announced eight more people have died in Ontario since Sunday.
Saskatchewan and Manitoba each reported over 300 new cases. Thirteen more deaths were also announced in the two Prairie provinces, with two in Saskatchewan and 11 in Manitoba.
Alberta nearly matched Ontario’s daily case total with 1,733 new infections, setting a new daily record, along with eight additional deaths. The province continues to lead the country in active cases, with officials warning hospitals are being pushed to their limits.
Stress, defiance rise along with COVID-19 cases, restrictions
In B.C., 596 new cases and 14 more deaths were reported Monday, while officials also revealed over 700 new cases were added both Saturday and Sunday. Another 277 historical cases from earlier in November were also added.
In Atlantic Canada, six new cases were reported in New Brunswick while Nova Scotia announced 16 more people had tested positive.
One new case was also reported in Newfoundland and Labrador, which on Monday further tightened its border to travellers after leaving the Atlantic travel bubble last week. Starting Tuesday, all essential travellers will have to submit a form and obtain a reference number to show border officials when they arrive.
Two of the three territories also saw new cases Monday, with Yukon adding one and Nunavut reporting four.
Nunavut is planning to lift its two-week lockdown on Wednesday, as the number of active cases has finally started to trend downward after an explosion in cases this month.
The pandemic has now infected over 63.1 million people around the world and killed more than 1.46 million, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
— With files from Global’s Amanda Connolly
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Canadians offer mixed confidence in government's vaccine rollout: Nanos survey – CTV News
Just one in six Canadians are confident in the federal government’s rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine once one becomes available, according to the latest data from Nanos Research.
The survey, commissioned by CTV News and released on Monday, asked 1,096 Canadians how confident they are that the government has a “a well organized plan to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to Canadians as quickly as possible” and found that just 16 per cent of respondents said they are “confident,” while another 40 per cent said they are “somewhat confident.”
“It’s very early in this process and I think until we actually see more details and there’s more meat on the bone, I expect (the vaccine rollout is) still going to be a bit of a question mark for many Canadians,” Nik Nanos, the chair of Nanos Research, told CTV’s Power Play.
When broken down regionally, respondents from Quebec offered the most confidence, with 73 per cent of respondents indicating that they are either confident or somewhat confident, while respondents in the Prairies had the least confidence, with 29 per cent indicating they are “not confident” in the vaccine rollout.
On Monday, Moderna Inc. said its testing shows that their COVID-19 vaccine is 94 per cent effective. The company is currently under a “rolling review” process with Health Canada, but has already asked for a emergency use approval in the United States and Europe.
Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau named Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin to lead Canada’s vaccine rollout, with the goal of immunizing half of Canadians by September 2021.
Nanos says that substantial details in the fiscal update about the vaccine rollout will go a long way towards curbing any skepticism from Canadians.
“Anything said relating to the funding of vaccines, the logistics of vaccines, the distribution, the role that the federal government’s going to take working with provinces, is probably going to be very well met, but if they don’t talk about those things, it’s just going to create a greater level uncertainty about the future,” he said.
With files from The Associated Press
Nanos conducted an RDD dual frame (land-and cell-lines) hybrid telephone and online random survey of 1,096 Canadians, 18 years of age or older, between November 26th and 29th, 2020 as part of an omnibus survey. Participants were randomly recruited by telephone using live agents and administered a survey online. The sample included both land-and cell-lines across Canada. The results were statistically checked and weighted by age and gender using the latest Census information and the sample is geographically stratified to be representative of Canada.
Individuals were randomly called using random digit dialing with a maximum of five call backs.
The margin of error for this survey is ±3.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
This study was commissioned by CTV News and the research was conducted by Nanos Research.
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