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Premier Doug Ford holding news conference at Queen's Park today as COVID-19 surges in Ontario – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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Premier Doug Ford will be holding a news conference this afternoon with the province’s health minister and solicitor general as COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to surge in Ontario.

The announcement comes one day before premiers across Canada will meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for a first ministers’ meeting, where the subject of growing COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care will be on the agenda.

On Tuesday, the prime minister said the federal government has been in touch with the province and is ready to offer “targeted help” to bring long-term care outbreaks under control.

“Just like when we first deployed the armed forces and the Red Cross during the first wave, our top priority is keeping people safe. I’ll be bringing up long-term care homes with all premiers on Thursday,” Trudeau said at a news conference on Tuesday morning.

According to data in the province’s epidemiological summary released Tuesday, there are currently 235 long-term care homes in Ontario with an active COVID-19 outbreak. Over the past month, 500 residents of Ontario long-term care facilities have died after becoming infected with the virus.

Provincial health officials also announced Tuesday that they plan to vaccinate all long-term care home residents in Toronto, Peel Region, York Region, and Windsor-Essex County by Jan. 21, though they were unable to provide specific numbers about how many long-term care residents would be inoculated.

Community transmission of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus is showing no signs of slowing in Ontario, with the seven-day average of new infections surpassing 3,000 on Tuesday for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

The province also saw a record number of hospitalizations on Tuesday, with an estimated 1,347 people infected with COVID-19 now receiving treatment in Ontario hospitals.

According to a recent report from Critical Care Services Ontario, there are at least 369 COVID-19 patients in intensive care units across the province.

Ford is set to speak at Queen’s Park at 1 p.m. today, where he will take questions from reporters for the first time this year.

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GM, Unifor reach tentative deal to build electric delivery vans in Ontario – CBC.ca

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GM Canada says it has reached a tentative deal with Unifor that, if ratified, will see it invest $1 billion to transform its CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ont., to make commercial electric vehicles.

Unifor national president Jerry Dias said along with the significant investment, the agreement between the company and union will mean new products, new jobs and job security for workers.

In a statement, Dias said that more details of the tentative deal will be presented to Unifor Local 88 members at an online ratification meeting scheduled for Sunday.

He said the results of the ratification vote are scheduled to be released on Monday.

Details of the agreement were not released Friday night, but the Ontario government issued a statement on Saturday praising the deal as “good news.”

“Unifor and General Motors have worked together to reach a tentative deal that will further strengthen Ontario’s world-class auto sector for its workers, their families and the communities they live in,” a joint statement from Premier Doug Ford and Economic Development Minister Vic Fedeli said.

FedEx lined up to buy electric delivery vans

A GM spokesperson said in a statement that the plan is to build BrightDrop EV 600s — an all-new GM business announced this week at the Consumer Electronics Show that will offer a cleaner way for delivery and logistics companies to move goods more efficiently. The growth of online shopping has increased demand for electric vans.

BrightDrop’s first customer is FedEx, which will begin receiving GM’s EV600 electric vans later this year.

The Ingersoll plant currently makes Chevrolet Equinox SUVs.

Unifor said the contract would bring total investment negotiated by the union to nearly $6 billion after new agreements were ratified with General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler in 2020 that included support from the federal and Ontario governments.

It said the Ford deal reached in September included $1.95 billion to bring battery electric vehicle production to Oakville, Ont., and a new engine derivative to Windsor, Ont., while the Fiat Chrysler agreement included more than $1.5 billion to build plug-in hybrid vehicles and battery electric vehicles.

Unifor said in November that General Motors agreed to a $1.3 billion investment to bring 1,700 jobs to Oshawa, Ont., plus more than $109 million to insource new transmission work for the Corvette and support continued V8 engine production in St. Catharines, Ont.

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GM to invest C$1 billion in Canada plant to manufacture electric vans – Reuters

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FILE PHOTO: The General Motors Co (GM) CAMI assembly plant is seen in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada October 13, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

(Reuters) – General Motors Co and labor union Unifor said on Friday they have reached a tentative deal for the automaker to invest nearly C$1 billion ($785.42 million) in its CAMI Assembly Plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, to manufacture commercial electric vans.

Under the tentative deal, which is yet to be ratified by the union workers, GM has agreed to begin large-scale commercial production of EV600, an electric van, at its CAMI plant, Unifor said in a statement.

The Detroit automaker said in a separate statement that work would begin immediately at the plant.

The new deal builds upon recent investments by GM in Canada, which in November had agreed to invest C$1 billion in its Oshawa plant to expand production of its full-size pickup trucks.

The Canadian government welcomed the deal and said it would confirm its support as soon as the union members ratified the deal.

“We await the results of the ratification vote,” Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne said in a statement.

Unifor, the union representing hourly workers in Canada, said more details of the deal would be presented to local members of the union at an online ratification meeting scheduled for Jan. 17, the results of which are scheduled to be released a day later.

($1 = 1.2732 Canadian dollars)

Reporting by Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru with additional reporting by Steve Scherer in Ottawa; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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Ontario to delay 2nd vaccine dose until 42 days due to Pfizer shipment delivery pause – Global News

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The Ontario government is extending the window for the second dose of COVID-19 vaccinations in order to account for Pfizer-BioNtech shipment and delivery delays.

Long-term care residents, staff and essential caregivers who have received their first doses of the Pfizer vaccine will now receive their second dose within 21 to 27 days, Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, said in a release. Everyone else will receive their second dose after 21 days and before 42 days.

They added the 28-day dose schedule for the Moderna vaccine will remain the same. Federal officials told Global News that Canada had received 171,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine this week and is expecting 230,400 more doses in the first week of February.

Read more:
‘Temporary delay’ chops Canada’s deliveries of Pfizer vaccine in half for four weeks

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“Vaccination of residents, staff and essential caregivers of all long-term care homes and high-risk retirement homes in Ontario will continue, with the goal of having the first dose administered in all homes no later than mid-February,” the release said.

“In the meantime, we are working to expand the number of vaccination sites to prepare for the demand for vaccination during Phase Two.”

This includes ensuring that the province’s approximately 61,500 long-term care residents, staff and essential caregivers, in Toronto, Peel, York and Windsor-Essex are inoculated by Jan. 21, the provincial government said.

The news comes one day after the federal government announced Pfizer would be reducing deliveries to all countries receiving its COVID-19 vaccine while it expands its European manufacturing facility.


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Ottawa reassures Canadians after announcement of COVID-19 vaccine delay


Ottawa reassures Canadians after announcement of COVID-19 vaccine delay

Procurement Minister Anita Anand said the temporary delay would have no impact on Canada’s long-term vaccine target, which aims to have enough doses for everyone in Canada who wishes to be vaccinated by the end of September.

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The change in supply is expected to last the next four weeks, and could see deliveries reduced by at least half for Canada in the coming weeks. The Ontario government said they were working with the Public Health Agency of Canada to determine “the exact timing and amount of these reductions.”

These vaccine dose adjustments are in line with the National Advisory Committee on Immunization’s recommendations on the use of COVID-19 vaccines, which has indicated that some provinces may delay administering the second dose if there is a vaccine shortage, “preferably within 42 days of receipt of the first dose.”

As of Friday, the Ontario government said more than 189,000 vaccine doses have been administered in the province.

More to come. 

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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