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Restaurants open for indoor dining; concerns alcohol consumption could lower inhibitions – CTV News

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WATERLOO —
Restaurants can open for indoor dining this week as Ontario moves into Stage 3.

Owners say it’s been great for business, but the Ontario Medical Association said alcohol consumption could lower inhibitions and increase the risk of COVID-19.

Beer Town Public Hall is one restaurant allowing customers inside once again.

“That’s 12 tables on a regular basis that didn’t exist two days ago,” operating partner Kirk Vines said. “That is significant to a restaurant like us.”

Vines said indoor seating boosted sales by 40 per cent on Friday when Waterloo Region moved into Stage 3. But the warm weather has most people heading to the patio.

“Outside continues to be where people want to sit,” Vines said. “The list usually starts not long after lunch and doesn’t end until we close.”

Whether dining inside or outside, physical distancing is mandatory. Provincial health guidelines also say dancing and karaoke aren’t allowed and customers need to stay seated.

The Ontario Medical Association is concerned about the bar scene, since people’s inhibitions lower when alcohol is involved.

“When we start to drink and we’ve had a couple drinks, those lessons fade,” said Dr. Samantha Hill, president of the Ontario Medical Association. “They’re not as strong, they’re not as intrinsic and suddenly six feet becomes five feet or four feet.”

The association is asking the government to reconsider opening indoor bars, referencing concerns from other countries and provinces that already have bars open.

“At the end of the day, you can’t have a healthy economy without healthy people and you can’t have healthy people without a healthy economy,” Dr. Hill said.

Vines said most restaurants and bars dealt with overconsumption even before the pandemic.

“Either you were on board and you stay on board, or you’re not on board and we know that when you first arrive because of your decision maybe not to wear a mask when you’re supposed to or your frustration over the whole thing from the get-go,” he said.

Several other businesses, like gyms, theatres and playgrounds, were all able to reopen for business when most of the province moved into Stage 3 on Friday.

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RBC beats Q4 expectations as capital markets profit soars 44% – BNN

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Royal Bank of Canada surpassed profit expectations in the fourth quarter amid a surge in earnings from its trading and investment banking operations that helped mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the lender’s other branches.

The bank’s total net income inched up one per cent year-over-year to $3.25 billion in the three months ending Oct. 31. On an adjusted basis, RBC said Wednesday it earned $2.27 per share. Analysts, on average, were expecting $2.04 in profit per share. For the year, RBC’s net income fell 11 per cent to $11.44 billion.

The clear-cut star performer in the quarter was RBC’s capital markets division, where profit soared 44 per cent to $840 million. In a release, RBC attributed the growth to favourable market conditions and an increase in debt and equity offerings that boosted its investment banking team.

Credit quality also improved for RBC in the quarter, as the bank set aside $427 million for loans that could go bad, compared to $675 million in the prior quarter and $499 million in provisions a year earlier.

“While RBC came in ahead of consensus expectations, the amount can be chalked up to lower than expected provisions for credit losses,” wrote Barclays Capital Analyst John Aiken in a report to clients.

“While we do not believe that the beat, driven by provisions, will generate much outperformance, there is very little to complain about in RBC’s earnings and we believe that the fourth-quarter’s results more than justify supporting its valuation,” added Aiken, who has an overweight rating on RBC’s shares, with a $112.00 per-share price target.

RBC’s core personal and commercial (P&C) banking operations saw profit fall seven per cent to $1.5 billion in the quarter. Similar to the banks that reported on Tuesday, RBC noted the impact of lower interest rates as central banks have attempted to cushion the economic blow from the pandemic by easing borrowing costs. Higher technology costs also weighed on RBC’s P&C earnings in the period.

Profit from wealth management was down 25 per cent year-over-year, mostly due to a substantial gain from an asset sale that boosted the division a year earlier.

“Looking ahead, while it is difficult to predict how the coming year will unfold, RBC has the strength, stability and operational resilience to face a range of scenarios, and to continue creating long-term sustainable value,” said RBC CEO Dave McKay in a release.

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Ontario premier returns to Queen's Park to make announcement – CTV Toronto

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TORONTO —
Premier Doug Ford is expected to make an announcement at Queen’s Park today.

Ford returns today after he had to cancel his attendance at an announcement in Brampton, Ont. last minute on Tuesday due to an “unexpected, but non-COVID-related, non-urgent, medical appointment.”

On Tuesday, Health Minister Christine Elliott led the news conference in Ford’s place, and announced that officials planning for the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in Ontario are now speaking directly with the manufacturers of seven different candidate vaccines.

Speaking with reporters after touring a Brampton warehouse belonging to the pharmaceutical distribution company McKesson on Tuesday, Health Minister Christine Elliott said that efforts are underway to make sure that Ontario will be in a position to distribute vaccines as of Dec. 31.

“We know this is going to be the largest logistical undertaking that we have had in Ontario in a generation,” she said. “We have to get this vaccine to every corner of this province. It is no small feat and we know we cannot do it alone.

Several of the companies, including Pfizer and Moderna Inc., have already applied for emergency use authorization in the United States but they will need to have their vaccines approved by Health Canada before they can be distributed.

British officials authorized a COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use on Wednesday, marking the world’s first science-backed shot against the disease.

Health Minister Christine Elliott will join the premier for the announcement Wednesday afternoon.

CTV News Toronto will livestream the announcement at 1 p.m.

With files from CTV News Toronto’s Katherine DeClerq  

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Ontario premier and minister of health to make announcement from Queen's Park – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Health Christine Elliott are set to make an announcement from Queen’s Park Wednesday afternoon.

At a press conference on Tuesday Elliott confirmed that the province is speaking directly with the manufacturers of seven different COVID-19 vaccine candidates to ensure that Ontario will be able to distribute vaccines as of Dec. 31.

Elliott said the rollout of the vaccine will be “the largest logistical undertaking” the province has faced “in a generation.”

“As of yesterday we started speaking with vaccine manufacturers, including AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson, Jansen, Moderna, GSK and Sanofi. This is absolutely critical for planning,” Elliott said. “We are also working with distribution experts like McKesson and Shoppers Drug Mart who not only have the warehouse capacity for vaccines like this but also know how to get these vaccines to their networks, including hospitals and other frontline care providers.”

Elliott has previously said that Ontario expects to receive a combined 2.4 million doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines by March, which would be enough to vaccinate 1.2 million Ontarians. But the federal government has not confirmed that number.

Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did say that the first doses of the vaccines would arrive in Canada in the first quarter of 2021 and that the majority of Canadians would likely be vaccinated by next September.

Trudeau also acknowledged that Canada may ultimately trail behind the U.S. and the United Kingdom in the rollout of vaccines as Health Canada still needs to approve them before they can be distributed.

On Wednesday, British officials were the first worldwide to authorize Pfizer and BioNtech’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use.

Pfizer said it will immediately start shipping out the vaccine and the British government said it will start inoculating residents as early as next week.

CP24.com will carry Ford’s announcement live at 1 p.m.

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