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The latest developments on COVID-19 in Canada – msnNOW

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© Provided by The Canadian Press


The latest news on the COVID-19 global pandemic (all times Eastern):

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6 p.m.

Saskatchewan is reporting that seven of its eight new COVID-19 cases are in the province’s far north.

Premier Scott Moe announced Friday that non-critical travel to the province’s north was being restricted as the region deals with an outbreak in the remote community of La Loche, about 600 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon.

On Friday, Moe said the far north had 25 active cases — more than anywhere else in the province.

In total, there were 349 cases in Saskatchewan Saturday, and four people have died.

4:45 p.m.

British Columbia is reporting its first death related to COVID-19 in a First Nations community.

The province is also reporting 95 new cases, bringing the total number of confirmed to 1,948.

B.C. saw two COVID-19 related deaths, bringing the number up to 100.

So far, 1,137 people have recovered from the virus.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says there are no new outbreaks at long-term care facilities.

1:50 p.m.

Quebec is recording another 106 deaths related to COVID-19 for a total of 1,446.

The province said today it has confirmed another 651 cases of the virus, bringing the total number of such cases to 23,267.

Forty-nine additional people were hospitalized compared with the prior day, for a total of 1,509 patients.

The province has 217 people remain in intensive care, a reduction of 10 patients compared to yesterday.

1:40 p.m.

British Columbia is looking to temporarily relocate over 1,000 people from tent encampments in Vancouver and Victoria to hotel and community centre accommodations to protect them from the ongoing pandemic.

Shane Simpson, Social Development and Poverty Reduction Minister, says 686 hotel and community centre accommodations in Vancouver and 324 hotel spaces in Victoria have been secured by the province.

Simpson says people will have their own living space and access to services, such as meals, laundry, washroom facilities, health-care services, addictions treatment and harm reduction, storage for personal belongings and other supports.

Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, has supported this transition by an order under the Emergency Program Act.

The order sets May 9 as the deadline to transition people out of the encampments.

1:15 p.m.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says front-line workers, including people working at shelters and long-term care homes, will receive a raise of $4 per hour for the next four months as they help in the fight against COVID-19.

Ford says eligible workers will also receive an extra payment of $250 per month if they work more than 100 hours in a month.

The provincial government says 350,000 workers will be eligible for the pay premium.

1:10 p.m.

Nova Scotia is reporting six more deaths related to COVID-19, bringing the total to 22.

Five deaths occurred at the Northwood long-term care home in Halifax Regional Municipality, while a man in his 80s with underlying medical conditions died in the Western Zone of the province. He was not a resident of a long-term care home.

The province is reporting 15 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the provincial total to 865 confirmed cases.

There are 10 licensed long-term care homes and unlicensed seniors’ facilities in Nova Scotia with cases of COVID-19, involving 191 residents and 90 staff.

A total of 412 cases are considered recovered.

12:55 p.m.

Public Health officials in New Brunswick are reporting no new cases of COVID-19 today, marking one week since there was a positive case.

The province has 118 confirmed cases and 11 active cases.

To date, 107 people have recovered.

Four people remain hospitalized, and there are no patients in an intensive care unit.

12:45 p.m.

Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting one new confirmed case of COVID-19, raising the provincial total to 257 cases.

Fifty-two per cent of cases are female and 48 per cent are male.

There have been three deaths from COVID-19 so far in the province.

Five people are in hospital due to the virus. Of these patients, two are in intensive care.

The province says 208 people have recovered.

11 a.m.

The Ontario government says provincial parks and conservation areas will remain closed until May 31 to protect public safety.

The closures, because of COVID-19, affect car camping, backcountry camping, roofed accommodations, day use, access points and all public buildings.

All Ontario park reservations are cancelled automatically during the closures and there will be refunds for all reservation holders.

The province will also provide penalty-free refunds to reservation holders who wish to change or cancel their 2020 camping reservation, regardless of arrival date.

10:40 a.m.

Ontario reported 476 new cases of COVID-19 today, as well as 48 more deaths.

There are now a total of 13,995 confirmed cases of the virus in the province and a death toll of 811.

There are 245 COVID-19 patients in intensive care, most of whom are on ventilators.

The Canadian Press

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Canada's mortgage insurer tightens rules as it forecasts home-price drop of up to 18% – Financial Post

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TORONTO — The government-backed Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp said on Thursday it would tighten rules for offering mortgage insurance from July 1, after forecasting declines of between 9 per cent and 18 per cent in home prices over the next 12 months.

The move would make it harder for riskier borrowers, who offer down payments of less than 20 per cent, to access CMHC’s default mortgage insurance.

CMHC is establishing a minimum credit score of 680 instead of the current 600, the group said in an emailed statement.

It will also limit total gross debt servicing ratios to its standard requirement of 35 per cent of annual income, compared with a threshold as high as 39 per cent currently, and total debt servicing to 42 per cent versus as much as 44 per cent now.

The measures will help curtail “excessive demand and unsustainable house price growth,” CMHC Chief Executive Evan Siddall said in the statement.

He said COVID-19 has exposed longstanding financial-market vulnerabilities, and “we must act now to protect the economic futures of Canadians.”

Some 35 per cent of Canadian banks’ mortgages are insured, their financial statements show. CMHC is the top mortgage insurer, while Genworth MI Canada and other private companies also provide similar products.

Despite evaporating activity in the housing market due to the COVID-19 pandemic, prices have continued to rise as listings have fallen off alongside demand.

Home prices across the country rose 1.3 per cent in April from March, and data from Toronto and Vancouver real estate boards showed increases of 3 per cent and 2.9 per cent in May, respectively, from a year earlier.

The CMHC has taken a more bearish view of the housing market than others. Last week, some of Canada’s biggest banks forecast maximum price declines of about 7 per cent.

Siddall last week responded to critics of its more dire outlook, saying on Twitter they were “whistling past the graveyard and offering no analysis.”

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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Canadian Dollar Price Outlook: USD/CAD Grinds Around Big Fig Support – DailyFX

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Canadian Dollar, CAD, USD/CAD Price Analysis

  • This morning brought a Bank of Canada rate decision, this Friday’s economic calendar brings Canadian jobs numbers to be released at the same time as US Non-Farm Payrolls.
  • The bank held rates, and given the change in leadership the big question is forward-looking strategy at the bank.
  • USD/CAD broke down from a descending triangle formation, and is now finding support around the 1.3500 big figure. But sellers haven’t yet been able to establish any significant trends around that support, leading to the prospect of short-term pullback.

BoC Leaves Rates Flat, USD/CAD Remains Around 1.3500

Earlier this morning we heard from the Bank of Canada as the BoC left rates flat; but the prospect of change in leadership atop the BoC does highlight potential changes in the future after outgoing Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz had previously stated that rates were as low as they could go. Taking over at the bank this week is Tiff Macklem, and as noted by our own Thomas Westwater earlier today, this morning’s statement likely had little input from the newly-installed BoC Governor. This does, however, point to the possibility of change on the horizon given how aggressively the coronavirus slowdown has hit global economies.

In USD/CAD, the pair has largely clung on to support around this rate decision, temporarily testing below the big figure of 1.3500 but, so far, failing to establish any continued bearish trends below that level. And this comes on the heels of an earlier-week breakdown, as USD/CAD had built into a descending triangle formation, with a series of lower-highs from late-March into mid-May, combined with horizontal support around the 1.3850 area on the chart.

USD/CAD Four-Hour Price Chart

USDCAD Four Hour Price Chart

Chart prepared by James Stanley; USDCAD on Tradingview

Can USD/CAD Bears Drive Through Psychological Support?

Of recent, commodity currencies have been on a tear against the US Dollar, USD/CAD included. AUD/USD has been on a similar display of recent and the same can be said for NZD/USD.

The trouble at this point for USD/CAD bears is the fact that the short-side move is already fairly well-developed; and prices are showing continued support around the 1.3500 big figure. Can USD/CAD bring sellers in at sub-1.3500 prices to continue pushing lower? Or, will the pair need a retracement first before continuing that bearish trend?

Change in Longs Shorts OI
Daily-2%-5%-3%
Weekly-9%-13%-10%

On the chart is a nearby area of interest for resistance potential. As looked at in yesterday’s webinar, the space around the 1.3600 area seems especially interesting, as there are two very recent Fibonacci levels within close proximity of each other. This is the 61.8% retracement of the 2020 major move, and the 78.6% retracement of the March major move. At this point, that zone hasn’t yet been tested for resistance and a show of sellers here could re-open the door for bearish continuation strategies in the pair.

USD/CAD Hourly Price Chart

USDCAD Hourly Price Chart

Chart prepared by James Stanley; USDCAD on Tradingview

— Written by James Stanley, Strategist for DailyFX.com

Contact and follow James on Twitter: @JStanleyFX

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Canadian trade plummets amid global shutdowns – BNNBloomberg.ca

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Canadian exports and imports plunged by the most ever in April amid a shutdown of global trade.

Exports plunged 30 per cent during the month, more than offsetting a 25 per cent drop in imports. The nation’s trade deficit widened to $3.3 billion ($2.4 billion), from $1.5 billion in March. The median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg had called for a $3 billion shortfall.

The report illustrates the extent to which global trade has collapsed amid pandemic-related lockdowns and travel restrictions. In Canada’s case, the economy is facing a double whammy from the pandemic and tanking oil prices. Combined imports and exports at $68.6 billion were the lowest since 2010.

Energy exports dropped 44 per cent in April, as the value of crude oil shipments fell 55 per cent on lower prices and lower volumes due to weaker global demand.

In volume terms, total exports were down 20 per cent in April, with imports falling 25 per cent.

-With assistance from Erik Hertzberg.

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