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Ontario to impose province-wide lockdown, media reports say, as Nunavut sees first COVID-19 deaths – The Globe and Mail

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A man wearing a mask walks past another pedestrian in Toronto on Dec. 11, 2020. The Ontario government is poised to announce a sweeping shutdown of non-essential services on Monday, media reports say.

Tijana Martin/The Canadian Press

The COVID-19 pandemic continued to wreak havoc across the country on Sunday, causing the first deaths in Nunavut and, according to media reports, pushing Ontario towards a province-wide lockdown.

Citing sources briefed on the provincial plan, two media outlets, Global News and 680 News, said the Ontario government is poised to announce a sweeping shutdown of non-essential services on Monday.

The duration of the lockdown will vary in length depending on the region, the outlets said in reports released Sunday afternoon.

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A spokesperson for Ontario Premier Doug Ford did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The province has been holding emergency talks over the weekend to discuss additional pandemic measures in the wake of several consecutive days with case counts exceeding 2,000. The new restrictions are expected to be announced Monday.

Meanwhile, Nunavut reported its first two deaths related to the novel coronavirus on Sunday as case counts remained high in several provinces, including Ontario and Quebec, which account for the bulk of the country’s infections.

A joint statement issued by Nunavut’s premier, health minister and chief public health officer said a resident of Arviat and one from Rankin Inlet died Saturday.

The territory had no cases of COVID-19 until November, and has since recorded 259.

The news comes a day after Canada surpassed 500,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Is my city going back into lockdown? A guide to COVID-19 rules across Canada

The latest 100,000 cases were recorded across the country over just 15 days – the shortest growth period since the pandemic was declared in March.

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It took six months for Canada to register its first 100,000 cases of the virus, another four to reach 200,000, less than a month to hit 300,000 and 18 days to hit 400,000.

The two provinces hardest hit by the pandemic, Ontario and Quebec, each reported more than 2,000 new infections Sunday, with Ontario’s tally at 2,316 and Quebec’s at 2,146. The provinces also recorded 25 and 21 new deaths, respectively.

Out east, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador each reported two new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday.

The new infections come as Ottawa is weighing how to respond to a new variant of COVID-19 found in the United Kingdom.

Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu revealed the discussions in a message on Twitter this afternoon as a number of European countries closed their borders with the U.K. because of the new strain, which is allegedly more contagious.

The Trudeau government did not respond to questions from The Canadian Press about whether Canada was considering a travel ban.

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At the same time, a new online survey shows the majority of Canadians report feeling optimistic about the new year in light of the COVID-19 vaccines.

A report commissioned by the Association for Canadian Studies and conducted by Leger said 70 per cent of those polled said they were somewhat optimistic about 2021, while 15 per cent reported feeling very optimistic.

Another 10 per cent said news of the vaccines left them feeling somewhat pessimistic about the new year, and five per cent said they felt very pessimistic.

Quebecers were slightly more positive overall, with 87 per cent reporting some level of optimism, compared with 84 per cent in the rest of Canada.

Those who described themselves as very optimistic were the most likely to say they will get immunized once a shot is publicly available.

More than 88 per cent of them said they would get the vaccine, compared with roughly 72 per cent of the somewhat optimistic respondents, 25 per cent of the somewhat pessimistic and just over 6 per cent of the very pessimistic.

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The survey polled 1,528 Canadian adults between Dec. 11 and 13. According to the polling industry’s generally accepted standards, online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

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Social Media Buzz: Larry King Dies, Dr. Birx, Heathrow Crowds – BNN

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(Bloomberg) — What’s buzzing on social media this morning:

Larry King, the interviewer whose schmoozy style attracted celebrities, politicians and other newsmakers as guests and made him the star of a top-rated U.S. cable talk show, has died. He was 87.

  • King died Saturday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The cause of death wasn’t provided. The cancer and stroke survivor had spent time recently undergoing treatment for Covid-19.

Pfizer Inc. is trending on Twitter. Senior doctors in the U.K. are urging the gap between first and second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine doses be halved to ensure efficacy. The U.K. extended the maximum wait from three to 12 weeks to get more people to take the first shot. France may also delay second doses to stretch supplies.

  • Large crowds at Heathrow Airport on Friday sparked concerns of virus spread. U.K. only allows residents to travel internationally for “legally-permitted reasons.”

Dr. Deborah Birx said she “always” considered quitting Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force as she worried she’d been viewed as a political person. “I mean, why would you want to put yourself through that, um, every day?” Birx told CBS in an interview that will air Sunday, according to an advance clip. Her term ended as Biden took office.

Protests broke out in cities across Russia as tens of thousands demanded the release of jailed opposition leader Alexey Navalny. Police detained hundreds of people.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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Blockbuster Laine-Dubois deal draws mixed reviews on social media – Sportsnet.ca

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Sometimes, change happens fast.

Mere days after Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella benched Pierre-Luc Dubois, one of his team’s best players, in an overtime loss against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Dubois was packing his bags to go play in another country altogether.

The Blue Jackets traded the 22-year-old, who had requested to be dealt shortly after signing a two-year, $10-million bridge contract in the off-season, to the Winnipeg Jets for superstar winger Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic in a move that sent shockwaves through the NHL.

Not all blockbusters are universally well-received, of course. And while some on Twitter celebrated the move as a shuffling of high-profile talent, others were quick to wonder how the dynamic between Laine, an offensive-minded forward, and Tortorella will play out.

Here is some of the best reaction to the winter blockbuster:

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Social media's sea shanty trend scores well with musician-curator – CBC.ca

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Southern Ontario folk musician Ian Bell says it makes sense that sea shanties are taking off on social media right now because they are participatory and easy to learn.

“It’s easier to learn Heave ‘Er Up and Bust ‘Er than it is to try and figure out all the bits for, say Bohemian Rhapsody or something,” Bell, who is also the former curator of the Port Dover Habour Museum, told CBC. 

“I think for a lot of people, singing shanties at this moment is like the musical equivalent of learning to bake your own bread.”

The social media platform Tik Tok is awash in videos of people performing the traditional work songs or altering others’ videos of them, and even talk show hosts such as Stephen Colbert have gotten in on the action.

The songs are appealing because of their communal nature, Bell said.

“There is nothing better than being in a large gang of people who are singing their faces off often in three or four part harmonies, and it’s one of those situations where it kind of goes beyond musical. You know the vibrations can go right through you,” he said.

One of the best shanty sings used to take place at the Mill Race Festival in Cambridge, he said, where 60 or 70 singers would pack into the Kiwi Pub and belt out the numbers.

Musician Ian Bell has been singing sea shanties for many years and says he loves shanties about the Great Lakes because of the local connection. (ianbellmusic.ca)

Songs to make work easier

Shanties aren’t so much songs as they are templates of songs, Bell said.

The rhythm helped workers carry out tasks in unison such as pulling in sails on sailboats.

“Some of the jobs needed a bunch of short pulls, and some of the jobs needed longer pulls, and so there was a whole repertoire of songs that fitted those needs and that the sailors sang to make the work go a little more easily,” he said.

But the lyrics were fluid.

Each work crew might have a shantyman — possibly the person with the loudest voice — who might recall some of the original words to the number, but there was a lot of improvisation, Bell explained.

“If the job wasn’t over and he’d finished the song, ‘Well, we’ll add a verse about the cook,'” he added.

Great Lakes shanties name local spots

A number of sea shanties were written on or about the Great Lakes and they are particular to the types of ships on the lakes, he said. Specifically, they were schooners rather than clipper ships. 

There were lots of capstan shanties, or songs sung while rotating the capstan to pull in an anchor, he said. Some also specifically mention the lakes or the surrounding areas.

“They mention Buffalo and they mention Long Point and they mention Windsor and Sarnia,” Bell said. 

For those wanting to learn a shanty or two and get in on the social media activity, Bell recommended Bully in the Alley and It’s Me for the Inland Lakes.

“I love the way it’s happening on Tik Tok,” Bell said, “which I haven’t tried, because, let’s be frank; I’m an old guy.”

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