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Ontario reports record 978 new COVID-19 cases

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Ontario reported 978 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, the most on a single day since the outbreak began in late January.

Saturday’s count surpasses the previous high of 939, which was reported on Oct. 9.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said the majority of the new cases are concentrated in Toronto, which once again led the way with 348. Another 170 cases were reported in Peel Region, followed by 141 in York Region and 89 in Ottawa.

A handful of other areas saw double-digit increases as well:

  • Durham Region: 51.
  • Eastern Ontario: 43.
  • Simcoe Muskoka: 23.
  • Halton Region: 21.
  • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph: 15.
  • Waterloo Region: 14.
  • Hamilton: 10.
  • Niagara Region: 10.

The number of patients hospitalized in Ontario due to COVID-19 now sits at 294, an increase of 18 since Friday.

There are 82 people in intensive care units, an increase of four, and 53 people are on ventilators, an increase of six.

The province’s seven-day average of new daily cases has also broken a new record. As of Saturday, it sits at 803 — higher than any other day so far this year.

Ontario’s cumulative total of cases now sits at 69,331. Some 625 cases were marked as resolved in Saturday’s update.

Six more people have died of COVID-19 in Ontario. The provincial death toll now stands at 3,086.

 

 

Ontario reported 978 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, the most reported in the province in a single day. Quebec reported more than 1,000 cases for the fifth time in seven days. 3:13

Nearly 44,200 tests completed

Meanwhile, Ontario’s network of community, commercial and hospital labs processed 44,151 novel coronavirus test samples since its last daily report.

While that figure marks the highest number of daily tests completed so far this week, it still falls short of Ontario’s goal of processing 50,000 tests per day by mid-October. The province also set a goal of processing 68,000 tests by mid-November.

Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti, an infectious diseases specialist at Trillium Health Partners in Mississauga, Ont., attributes that shortfall to Ontario’s tightened testing criteria and move to appointment-only testing.

 

 

“This has caused a bit of problems because we’re getting people to make appointments, but there are some double bookings happening, people not showing up,” he told CBC News Network on Saturday.

“This has put a little bit of a wrench in plans.”

But Chakrabarti said despite those issues, he hopes testing will ramp up in the coming weeks.

“It’s important for us to have the right testing at the right time and not just the big numbers. Otherwise you start to get a picture that does not actually represent what’s happening on the ground,” he said.

Halton mayors ask to stay in Stage 3 

Meanwhile, two mayors and MPPs from Halton Region wrote a letter to Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, on Friday, pleading with him to refrain from imposing Stage 2 restrictions on the area.

“Last week when York Region faced new restrictions, Halton Region came together. We acted quickly to implement several recommendations made by our Medical Officer of Health,” the letter reads.

“These measures are working.”

The letter — signed by MPPs Parm Gill and Jane McKenna, as well as Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr, Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward and Milton Mayor Gordon Krantz — also noted that the region’s positivity rate has not moved past public health’s “high alert” range of 2.5 per cent.

 

Ontario Premier Doug Ford, shown earlier this month, hinted on Friday that Halton Region could soon join the list of regions with stricter COVID-19 measures. He said provincial officials will examine the situation there over the weekend to decide whether the area needs to be moved back into a modified Stage 2. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

 

“In these unprecedented times, individuals and businesses need to have some level of predictability and stability. This is why we are also calling on you to clearly define the criteria used to determine when further restrictions or rollbacks are required, as well as the criteria that must be met for lifting any restrictions or rollbacks,” the letter reads.

The plea comes after Premier Doug Ford hinted on Friday that Halton could soon join the list of regions with stricter COVID-19 measures.

Ford said provincial officials will examine the situation there over the weekend to decide whether the area needs to be moved back into a modified Stage 2.

The restrictions mean restaurants can only offer outdoor service, and gyms and theatres must close.

“It’s concerning right now, I’ve seen the numbers go up again,” Ford said on Friday.

Asked if a similar move would be considered for Durham Region, where new cases are also increasing, Ford said the province will look at every area that’s experiencing “a little escalation” and provide clarity on Monday.

Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa moved to a modified Stage 2 — which includes the closure of gyms, movie theatres and casinos, and a ban on indoor dining in restaurants or bars — on Oct. 10, while York Region did so this week.

The tighter rules are set to be reviewed after 28 days, and Ford said he would make decisions on any steps beyond that based on the advice of the provincial health team.

Horwath calls for expansion of contact tracing

In a statement on Saturday, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath blamed Ontario’s high case count on Ford’s “refusal to invest in stopping the growth of the second wave.”

Horwath said the province is sitting on more than $9 billion in pandemic support funding, more than $7 billion of which she said came from the federal government.

“Mr. Ford doesn’t want to spend the money. And cases are skyrocketing as a result,” she said in the statement

Horwath is calling for a “massive” expansion of testing and contact tracing in “every community” across the province.

She also wants to see enhanced protections in the long-term care sector, as well as a 15-student class cap in schools.

“People can’t afford to have Mr. Ford delay another day,” Horwath said.

10 patients, 4 staff infected at CAMH

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) said on Saturday that 10 patients and four staff members so far have tested positive for COVID-19 due to an outbreak at its Queen Street site.

The news of the most recent confirmed cases comes after the hospital first reported an outbreak last weekend.

“We continue to remain vigilant about policies and procedures to keep staff and patients safe and we are working with our partners at Toronto Public Health on reporting, surveillance, and infection control,” CAMH wrote in a statement on Saturday.

CAMH is not the only hospital that has reported outbreaks in Toronto over the last week. Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre reported an outbreak in the facility’s surgical unit on Friday and St. Joseph’s Health Centre, along with Toronto Western Hospital, reported outbreaks last weekend.

Thermal blankets draw patio-goers

Some restaurants are looking for creative ways to keep dining available outside as COVID-19 hot spots in Ontario have reverted back to a modified stage two.

With indoor dining closed, restaurants in the Danforth neighbourhood in Toronto are part of a new initiative with the Broadview-Danforth BIA to entice customers to visit outdoor patios, despite chillier weather.

 

Patio-goers wrap themselves in thermal blankets provided for free by the Broadview-Danforth’s BIA in an effort to encourage residents to dine outdoors. (CBC News/ Robert Krbavac )

 

Beginning on Saturday, those who dine out on outdoor patios in the neighbourhood will receive a free thermal blanket and a $5 gift card to use at any BIA business in the area.

Some residents participated in the initiative on Saturday, wrapping themselves in the blankets to stay warm during the crisp, late October weather.

Source: – CBC.ca

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3 million Canadians could be vaccinated in early 2021, but feds warn of ‘logistical challenges’

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Federal officials sought to reassure Canadians today that Ottawa has a plan to procure and distribute millions of COVID-19 vaccines in early 2021, as the government’s critics argue that Canada seems to be falling behind other developed countries in planning for a mass vaccination campaign.

Health Canada regulators are reviewing clinical trial data, the government has signed purchase agreements for promising vaccine candidates and public health officials have procured needles and syringes for a future deployment, officials said. But top civil servants still don’t know how and when Canadians will be vaccinated due to a number of uncertainties.

Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer, said the country will grapple with “some logistical challenges” in the months to come as it prepares to inoculate Canadians. He said the federal government will leverage the Canadian Armed Forces and an existing influenza vaccine distribution network to help with deployment.

Njoo warned that vaccine supply will be quite limited at first and will be reserved for “high priority groups” only — seniors in long-term care homes, people at risk of severe illness and death, first responders and health care workers and some Indigenous communities, among others.

A larger rollout, he said, will happen once supply chains stabilize and regulators approve more vaccine candidates for use in Canada.

If all goes well, and if U.S. pharmaceutical giants are able to meet delivery timelines, Njoo said as many as six million doses could be deployed in the first three months of 2021. Each patient will need two doses of Pfizer’s vaccine.

He cautioned, however, that it’s an “optimistic projection” and the details are far from certain right now.

Njoo said the federally run National Emergency Strategic Stockpile (NESS), which has storage sites across the country, already has procured the needles and syringes needed for vaccinations, which will be shared with the provinces and territories.

The federal government also has purchased cold storage for the promising Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, should they be approved for use here in Canada. Those two drugs are based on groundbreaking messenger RNA technology, or mRNA, which essentially directs cells in the body to make proteins to prevent or fight disease.

 

Dr. Supriya Sharma is the chief medical advisor for Health Canada 2:21

The government has been criticized by the opposition, provincial leaders and some public health experts for providing few details about its plans to roll out a vaccine once Health Canada gives one the green light.

While the U.S. has publicly released a robust distribution plan — 20 million Americans are expected to be vaccinated in December alone — Canadian officials have been largely quiet about how the deployment here will be structured. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is scheduled to speak with the premiers tonight to offer more specifics.

Njoo said there’s been a “great deal of preparation behind the scenes” and the government will provide more information about logistics, distribution and allocation at a later date.

 

There’s still no clear timeline for COVID-19 vaccinations in the new year. (Tony Talbot/AP)

 

Njoo did not offer a precise timeline, beyond a commitment to getting some Canadians vaccinated “early” next year.

Arianne Reza, an assistant deputy minister at Public Services and Procurement Canada, said she expects vaccines will be available in the “first quarter of 2021.”

She said Canada has so far finalized purchasing agreements with five different pharmaceutical companies — AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Medicago, Pfizer and Moderna — while agreements with Johnson & Johnson and Novavax are being finalized now.

Canada is expected to receive at least 194 million vaccine doses, with contractual options for 220 million more. “Canada does have firm agreements,” Reza said. “We work every day with the vaccine manufacturers to firm up the delivery schedule.”

Dr. Supriya Sharma, the chief medical adviser at Health Canada, said her department has been reviewing clinical trial data on a rolling basis since October 9.

The rolling review process — a policy shift implemented because of the urgency of this pandemic — allows drug makers to bypass the lengthy timelines they normally face when launching a new vaccine.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is set to make its final decision on the Pfizer product on Dec. 10 — the company has reported a 95 per cent effectiveness rate — and Sharma said Health Canada is expecting to give approval for that product “around the same time. We’re on track to make decisions on similar timelines.”

“We don’t want to set up expectations that we might not be able meet. We’re working flat out,” Sharma said.

Reza said she doesn’t know when that product might hit our shores, but she’s hopeful for a fast turnaround.

“The minute regulatory approval comes through, they will be ready to go quite quickly with supply and initial shipments,” she said.

Sharma said drug companies could send vaccines to Canada for “pre-positioning” — stockpiling in advance of regulatory approval — but no vaccines have yet been shipped to our country.

Health minister should apologize to families of dead Canadians: Tory

Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner, the party’s health critic, said delays in vaccine deployment will lead to more COVID-19-related deaths. She said Health Minister Patty Hajdu should be prepared to apologize to Canadian families who lose loved ones to the virus.

“I know that sounds stark,” Rempel told a press conference. “But Canada’s inability to be clear on the details, to have a clear plan — when countries around the world have treated this with military efficiency and the severity that’s needed — will result in death.”

“Countries around the world will have the ability to vaccinate against COVID-19 but, in Canada, we will likely face 2,000 deaths per month because we don’t have the same ability,” she said, citing federal public health projections about the number of Canadians that could die each month if the virus continues to spread.

 

Conservative member of Parliament Michelle Rempel Garner speaks during a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

 

She said the government is perpetuating “mass chaos” and “mass confusion” by failing to release a clear distribution plan only weeks before an expected rollout.

She pointed to comments from Ontario’s health minister, Christine Elliott, who said Thursday she still wasn’t sure just how much her province will receive as part of the government’s coordinated vaccine bulk-buying program.

“I don’t even have words for how concerning this is … the provinces haven’t been brought to the table in a meaningful way. There’s a disconnect,” Rempel Garner said. “At the 11th hour, provincial governments shouldn’t be asking these questions.”

Source:- CBC.ca

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Canada As a Prosperous Economic Nation For Immigration

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Canada has long enjoyed popularity as a great tourist destination. Immensely beautiful countryside and a vast array of outdoor activities, has always attracted tourists from different parts of the world. Cities such as Quebec and Montreal rich in tradition and also Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver with exemplary architecture are all worth the journey.

Canada has a large domestic and foreign tourism industry. This second-largest country in the world everything to lure globe trotters, from nature lovers, shopping buffs to adventure seekers. Canada belongs to the world’s leading economic nations. The country is rich in minerals and vegetable resources, has very fertile land for agriculture and forestry along with the immense potential for hydroelectric power have all contributed to its economic growth.

Canada is often referred to as a cultural mosaic, with one-fifth of its population comprising of foreign nationals, which is the highest ever proportion in the last 75 years. For the last decade, the Canadian economy has been growing rapidly by the aid of Immigration, low unemployment and significant trade surpluses with the United States.

Canada is preferred for Immigration all over the world due to its prosperous socio-economic structure, high education standards, lucrative career options and most importantly, not so stringent immigration laws. It is also a popular study destination, with over 1,300,000 international students studying at its various universities and institutes. International students experience a secure, peaceful and multicultural environment in Canada, getting the maximum exposure to work on a global platform.

The immigration policy of Canada can be divided into the temporary entry and Permanent Immigration. Under the Temporary entry, applicants can apply for Tourist Visa, Student Visa and Work permit. Tourist Visa to Canada allows visiting Canada for a period of two to five years. It is of three types, which are Single entry visa, multiple entry visa and transit visas.

Tourist visa to Canada does not entitle the visa holder to work in Canada. Canada Immigration and Citizenship department have developed a very systematic immigration procedure for economic class immigrants like skilled workers and business class immigrants. The Investor Immigration Program seeks experienced businessman to Canada who can support the economic development of the country. The categories under this program are investors, entrepreneurs and self-employed persons.

Many Immigration consulting firms provide useful guidance regarding the entire visa application process by asking the applicant to fill up free online assessment forms. To apply for permanent Immigration, the applicant needs to fill an application form that is reviewed by Canada Immigration authorities, who decide upon the eligibility of the candidate.

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As Crime Rises in Toronto, Criminal Lawyers Ensure the Accused Get a Fair Trial

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violent crime

Over the past two years, Toronto has soon a noteworthy uptick in the incidence of violent crime. While much of this has been the result of turf wars between mafia and other criminal organizations, it has also involved more random, unpredictable attacks that have claimed the lives of a tragic number of young Torontonians.

As is to be expected whenever there is a rise in violent crime, the police are aggressively working to prosecute suspects and renew public confidence. Unfortunately, this zeal to tamp down the problem of gun violence can sometimes cause innocent people to get caught up in police investigations — and as a 2018 Ontario Human Rights Commission report found, the system problem of racial profiling in the Toronto Police Service means that these innocent people are far more likely to be Black.

Criminal Law and the Presumption of Innocence

The vast majority of Torontonians want to live in a safe, peaceful city where violent crime is as rare as it is shocking. But if real progress is to be made toward identifying and addressing the rise in gun and knife violence, it cannot come at the expense of the civil rights of Torontonians.

The presumption of innocence is a bedrock principle of our legal system, and all people accused of violent crimes, no matter the evidence, must be given a chance to defend themselves and clear their names in court.

This cannot happen without criminal lawyers, who ensure that anyone accused of a violent crime will have access to the kind of expert legal advice that is the precondition of a fair trial.

 

What to Do if You’ve Been Charged with a Violent Crime

If you have been charged with a violent crime, it can be hard to know how to respond. Unlike in other countries, the police are under no legal obligation to inform you of your rights, so it is essential that you understand what you are owed:

  • The Right to Silence: If the police have taken you into custody and charged you with a criminal offense, you are not under any obligation to provide them with information. The police are not judges, and they cannot compel testimony from you. What they can do is take what you’ve said to build a case against you, so it is always better to say nothing until you’ve spoken with a lawyer.
  • The Right to Counsel: Ontario law guarantees you the right to legal counsel and representation. Talking to a criminal defence lawyer in Toronto as soon as you’ve been charged will help you understand how best to proceed. They will also be able to advise you about whether to make a statement to the police.

Violent crimes are some of the most serious offenses in Canadian law, and those convicted often face harsh penalties. But this is also why the bar for conviction is high: in order to send a person to prison for years or decades, it is essential that their guilt be established beyond reasonable doubt.

As violent crime rates remain high despite the COVID-19 lockdowns, it is more essential than ever that Ontarian’s faith in their justice system be maintained. But the only way to do this is by ensuring that all people are treated equally under the law, and that those accused of a serious crime are given the resources necessary to defend themselves.

 

 

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