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Today’s coronavirus news: Canadian economy adds 953,000 jobs in June, unemployment rate falls as pandemic restrictions ease; WHO concedes airborne spread indoors is possible – Toronto Star

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The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Friday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.

8:40 a.m.: Statistics Canada says the economy added nearly one million jobs in June as businesses forced closed by the pandemic moved to reopen.

The agency says 953,000 jobs were added last month including 488,000 full-time and 465,000 part-time positions.

The unemployment rate fell to 12.3 per cent in June after hitting a record-high of 13.7 per cent in May.

The average economist estimate for June had been for an addition of 700,000 jobs and the unemployment rate to fall to 12.0 per cent, according to financial data firm Refinitiv

7:55 a.m.: Premier Doug Ford will make multiple public appearances at businesses today to thank Ontario workers for their service during the pandemic.

Ford’s day will start at a skylight manufacturing company in Woodbridge, Ont., where the premier is set to make an announcement alongside Vic Fedeli, minister of economic development.

He’ll then tour a Toronto-based textile company that retooled its facility to start producing face masks.

The premier will then visit a bakery in Toronto’s west end to serve customers through a take window built by the shop.

Ford’s last event is scheduled at 4 p.m. when he’ll tour a dairy and food plant that ramped up production to meet customer needs during the COVID-19 lockdown.

6:20 a.m.: The coronavirus storm has arrived in South Africa, but in the overflowing COVID-19 wards the sound is less of a roar than a rasp.

Oxygen is already low in hospitals at the new epicentre of the country’s outbreak, Gauteng province, home to the power centres of Johannesburg and the capital, Pretoria.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, visiting a hospital Friday, said authorities are working with industry to address the strained oxygen supply and divert more to health facilities.

Some of the hospital’s patients spilled into heated tents in the parking lot. They lay under thick blankets in the middle of winter in the Southern Hemisphere, with a cold front arriving this weekend and temperatures expected to dip below freezing.

South Africa overnight posted another record daily high of confirmed cases, 13,674, as Africa’s most developed country is a new global hot spot with 238,339 cases overall. More than a third are in Gauteng.

6:17 a.m.: Australia’s Victoria state on Friday reported the new daily record of 288 coronavirus cases, which also reflects a record number of tests exceeding 37,500.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the number of citizens and permanent residents allowed to return to Australia each week will be reduced by more than 4,000 from next week.

Sydney, Australia’s largest city, has been carrying a disproportionate burden of hotel quarantine that is currently paid for by the New South Wales state government.

Victoria, to the south, has banned international arrivals after breaches of hotel quarantine in Melbourne were blamed for Australia’s only widespread transmission of COVID-19.

Victoria’s Chief Helath Officer Breet Sutton said “certainly, 288 new cases today is a pretty ugly number.”

6:16 a.m.: Two World Health Organization experts were heading to the Chinese capital on Friday to lay the groundwork for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.

An animal health expert and an epidemiologist will meet Chinese counterparts in Beijing to work out logistics, places to visit and the participants for a WHO-led international mission, the UN organization said.

A major issue will be to “look at whether or not it jumped from species to human, and what species it jumped from,” WHO spokesperson Dr. Margaret Harris said at a briefing in Geneva.

Scientists believe the virus may have originated in bats and was transmitted to another mammal such as a civet cat or an armadillo-like pangolin before being passed on to people.

6:15 a.m.: Statistics Canada is set this morning to give a snapshot of the job market as it was last month as pandemic-related restrictions eased and reopenings widened.

Economists expect the report will show a bump in employment as a result, further recouping some of the approximately three million jobs lost over March and April.

Financial data firm Refinitiv says the average economist estimate for June is for employment to increase by 700,000 jobs and the unemployment rate to fall to 12.0 per cent.

The unemployment rate in May was a record-high 13.7 per cent, a far turn from the record low of 5.5 per cent recorded in January.

The Bank of Canada and federal government say the worst of the economic pain from the pandemic is behind the country, but Canada will face high unemployment and low growth until 2021.

The economic outlook released by the Liberal government Wednesday forecasted the unemployment rate to be 9.8 per cent for the calendar year, dropping to 7.8 per cent next year based on forecasts by 13 private sector economists.

4 a.m.: The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4 a.m. ET on July 10, 2020:

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There are 106,805 confirmed cases in Canada.

-Quebec: 56,216 confirmed (including 5,609 deaths, 25,616 resolved)

-Ontario: 36,348 confirmed (including 2,703 deaths, 31,977 resolved)

-Alberta: 8,519 confirmed (including 161 deaths, 7,774 resolved)

-British Columbia: 3,028 confirmed (including 186 deaths, 2,667 resolved)

-Nova Scotia: 1,066 confirmed (including 63 deaths, 999 resolved)

-Saskatchewan: 813 confirmed (including 15 deaths, 750 resolved)

-Manitoba: 314 confirmed (including 7 deaths, 314 resolved), 11 presumptive

-Newfoundland and Labrador: 261 confirmed (including 3 deaths, 258 resolved)

-New Brunswick: 166 confirmed (including 2 deaths, 163 resolved)

-Prince Edward Island: 33 confirmed (including 27 resolved)

-Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)

-Yukon: 11 confirmed (including 11 resolved)

-Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved)

-Nunavut: No confirmed cases, 1 presumptive

Total: 106,805 (12 presumptive, 106,793 confirmed including 8,749 deaths, 70,574 resolved)

Thursday 3 p.m.: The World Health Organization is acknowledging the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions — after more than 200 scientists urged the agency to do so.

In an open letter published this week in a journal, two scientists from Australia and the U.S. wrote that studies have shown “beyond any reasonable doubt that viruses are released during exhalation, talking and coughing in microdroplets small enough to remain aloft in the air.”

The researchers, along with more than 200 others, appealed for national and international authorities, including WHO, to adopt more stringent protective measures.

WHO has long dismissed the possibility that the coronavirus is spread in the air except for certain risky medical procedures, such as when patients are first put on breathing machines.

In a change to its previous thinking, WHO noted on Thursday that studies evaluating COVID-19 outbreaks in restaurants, choir practices and fitness classes suggested the virus might have been spread in the air.

Airborne spread “particularly in specific indoor locations, such as crowded and inadequately ventilated spaces over a prolonged period of time with infected persons cannot be ruled out,” WHO said.

More coverage from Thursday.

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B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program – CBC.ca

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Migrant workers and advocates called for a “just recovery” from the COVID-19 pandemic during a digital rally on Saturday based out of Vancouver.

The pandemic has shown how heavily Canada relies on migrant and undocumented workers to perform essential jobs, said Chit Arma, who chairs the Migrant Workers Centre’s board of directors in Vancouver.

“The pandemic has also exposed the extent to which these essential workers do not enjoy essential rights, and the long-standing systemic problems with the temporary foreign work program that puts workers in an extremely precarious position,” she said during the video conference.

The rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre.

The campaign calls on the federal government to create a new permanent residency program for all essential migrant and undocumented workers, and to allow the workers to apply for an open-work permit while waiting for their applications to process.

No one at the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada could immediately be reached for comment.

On July 31, the federal government announced $58.6 million in funding that it said would boost protections for temporary foreign workers and address COVID-19 outbreaks on farms.

Of that, $35 million was earmarked to improve health and safety on farms and in employee living quarters to prevent the spread of COVID-19. About $7.4 million would support the workers, including $6 million for direct outreach delivered through migrant support organizations, the government said.

‘Recognizes precarious status’

The government also said it was working to develop mandatory requirements to improve living conditions in employer-provided accommodations.

In August, Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino announced a temporary measure to provide a pathway to permanent residency for asylum claimants working in health-care during the pandemic.

Under the measure, the front-line workers would be able to apply for permanent residency if they met certain criteria, including having made an asylum claim before March 13 and having been issued a work permit after their claim.

“This approach recognizes those with precarious immigration status who are filling an urgent need and putting their own lives at risk to care for others in Canada,” the government said in a news release.

Exclusions

Natalie Drolet, executive director of the Migrant Workers Centre, said the measure excludes other front-line workers like grocery store clerks, truckers and care workers.

“While this is a positive step, it leaves too many migrant workers and undocumented workers behind who have also been on the front lines in the pandemic,” Drolet said.

Migrants and undocumented workers play key roles as health-care workers, grocery store clerks, cleaners, care workers, truckers and agricultural workers, Arma said.

More than 1,300 migrant workers in Ontario alone have been infected with COVID-19, she said. Three have died, including one undocumented worker, she said.

‘Fear of being removed’

Arma came to Canada in 2005 to work as a caregiver. Her temporary status in Canada gave her stress and anxiety, she said.

“I had papers, I had documents, and yet I had that fear of being removed, a fear of speaking up because I might be deported,” she said.

“I can imagine how undocumented workers are experiencing even worse because of the lack of documents they have.”

Demonstrators called for paid sick days and better protections for migrant workers at a rally in Halifax on Labour Day. (Jeorge Sadi/CBC)

Maria Cano arrived to work as a caregiver in 2017 through the temporary foreign worker program. She said the experience showed how disempowering the experience could be, even before the pandemic struck.

Cano worked for four different families and moved to three different cities in her first few years. They expected her to work long hours without compensation, she said.

“When I spoke up, I lost my job,” she said. “That entire process was very stressful and financially draining.”

She finally found a “nice Canadian family” who treated her with respect and sponsored her but said others shouldn’t hope for the same luck — they should be protected with recognized rights instead.

“The COVID-19 pandemic makes it more difficult and stressful for all the undocumented and migrant workers in Canada,” she said.

Beginning Dec. 15, the B.C. government will require employers wishing to hire foreign workers through federal programs to register with the province.

The government said in a news release Saturday that the measures would ensure the workers are paid for the hours they work, have accurate job descriptions and ensure their rights and safety are protected on the job.

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Vancouver theatre company among first in Canada to relaunch during COVID-19 – Global News

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It’s been about six months since anyone has taken in a show put on by Vancouver’s Arts Club Theatre Company, but that’s about to change.

The venue will be among the first in the country to resume live performances, when it launches a one-actor play under strict new COVID-19 protocols on Thursday.

“It is a huge step towards normalcy, I have had people say to me, ‘All I need is to see a show, and I can’t wait to come and see something,’” said actor Ali Watson, who will play all 16 parts in No Child, which premieres Sept. 24.

Read more:
Coronavirus: Imperial Theatre to host first live performance since pandemic began

In order to allow for more performances, the play has been double-cast, with Watson and actor Celia Aloma starring in alternating shows — each with their own stage managers and crews.

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“I think its a really excellent distraction from COVID-19, especially because it’s not about COVID-19, which everything you see online and in person is about that,” Watson said.

The Arts Club and virtually all live performance venues were forced to close their doors in March, when the province issued an order against gatherings of more than 50 people.






2:09
Calgary art community bringing live performances back to life


Calgary art community bringing live performances back to life

The venue usually puts in 18 shows a year for about a quarter-million spectators, according to artistic director Ashlie Corcoran.

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The pandemic forced them to cancel 25 scheduled shows, including performances well into 2021.

“It’s been a long, hard six months of being dark,” she said.

“To use our brains to start planning and building and creating instead of cancelling, it’s very much buoyed our spirits.”

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Starting with No Child, which focuses on the efforts of a drama teacher in an inner-city New York school, the Arts Club is rolling out three one-actor plays.

Read more:
What some concerts and festivals look like during the coronavirus pandemic

Audience members will need to sign a declaration of health before entering. There will be no queueing up before the show, bathroom capacity will be limited, masks will be mandatory, and exiting the theatre will be controlled to ensure physical distancing.

The audience will also be capped at 50 people in a theatre that normally seats 300.

“Doing theatre for audiences of 50 will not economically sustain us, but we do feel it’s very important to be connecting, both with artists … and with the audience,” said Corcoran.






1:50
B.C. music fans missing live concert experience


B.C. music fans missing live concert experience

The Arts Club relies on ticket sales for about 80 per cent of its revenue, and Corcoran said it’s managed to survive so far through donations over the summer.

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Darrel Dunlop, president of IATSE local 118, which represents workers in the live performance sector, said the pandemic has been devastating to his members.

With CERB ending, he’s worried about a “brain drain” of skilled workers into industries.

“A lot of the people, they’ve had to start looking for jobs in another sector,” he said.

Read more:
‘One World: Together at Home’ concert show brings musicians together to thank coronavirus workers

But Dunlop is cautiously optimistic, citing creative ways productions have been finding to reopen safely under new pandemic protocols with smaller casts, crews and audiences.

“They’re actually going to be doing multiple shows in a day, and they’re actually going to be doing that with separate crews,” he said, meaning if someone becomes ill another crew can always sub in.

“Until there’s a time when you can actually put a full audience in, it will be different, the experience will be different. … We have to be patient and we have to be willing to accept the change.”

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Former PM John Turner dead at 91

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TORONTO — Former prime minister John Turner, whose odyssey from a “Liberal dream in motion” to a political anachronism spanned 30 years, has died at the age of 91.

Marc Kealey, a former aide speaking on behalf of Turner’s relatives as a family friend, says Turner died peacefully in his sleep at home in Toronto on Friday night.

“He’s in a much better place, and I can say on behalf of the family there was no struggle and it was very, very peaceful,” Kealey said.

Politicians and other public figures immediately began sharing memories of Turner and expressing condolences to his family.

“A gifted politician, lawyer, and athlete, Mr. Turner became Canada’s 17th Prime Minister after having served in numerous other capacities,” Prime Minister Justin Trudea said in a written statement.

“Mr. Turner was a humble man with a strong social conscience. He supported many charitable organizations, including Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. He was also an honorary director of World Wildlife Fund Canada and an ardent advocate for the protection of Canada’s lakes and rivers.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole also offered his condolences, writing on Facebook, “Track star, lawyer, parliamentarian, but most importantly father and patriot, his contributions to Canada are profound and his legacy assured.”

Former prime ministers Jean Chretien and Paul Martin both spoke of their one-time colleague’s love of Parliament.

“More than anything, John was a House of Commons man and an outstanding public servant. He revered our democratic institutions like no other and served his constituents and Canada with great distinction. He will be greatly missed. My sincere condolences go out to his wife Geills and to his family,” Chretien wrote.

Smart, athletic and blessed with movie-star good looks, Turner was dubbed “Canada’s Kennedy” when he first arrived in Ottawa in the 1960s. But he failed to live up to the great expectations of his early career, governing for just 79 days after a difficult, decades-long climb to the top job.

“The most unfortunate thing to happen to anybody is to come in at the top in politics,” Turner said in 1967.

“The apprenticeship is absolutely vital. And yet, the longer the apprenticeship, the more the young politician risks tiring the public. So that by the time he’s ready, the public may be tired of him.”

His words were prophetic.

Despite his missteps, Turner guided the Liberals through some of their darkest days in the 1980s. His right-of-centre contribution to party policy would help pave the way for fiscally conservative prime ministers Chretien — his longtime rival — and Martin.

Turner’s journey began as a dashing young politician with the world at his feet and ended nearly 30 years later when he could no longer overcome his image as a relic of the past.

There was a dichotomy to Turner’s life. He was a jock who studied at Oxford and the Sorbonne, a staunch Catholic who defended the decriminalization of abortion and homosexuality and a Bay Street lawyer who campaigned against free trade — describing it as the fight of his life.

“There were two Turners. There was the thoughtful, intelligent John Turner who was kind of an intellectual,” former aide Ray Heard said in an interview several years ago.

“But there was another side to him. … There was John the jock, who used to love watching NFL football with us, who sometimes drank too much, who used to put on his red cardigan and sit in his office having a good time,” he said.

“So there was these two Turners, and sometimes these two Turners were in conflict with each other.”

Born in England, John Napier Wyndham Turner emigrated to Canada in 1932 after the premature death of his father Leonard.

His young, well-educated and driven mother, Phyllis Gregory, moved the family to her hometown of Rossland, B.C., and then to Ottawa a year later, where she climbed to the top ranks of the civil service.

She married wealthy businessman Frank Mackenzie Ross, who later was lieutenant-governor of British Columbia.

An Olympic-calibre track star, Turner graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1949, winning the Rhodes scholarship to Oxford University. After studying law, he went to Paris to work on a doctorate at the Sorbonne.

The young lawyer caused a stir when he danced with Princess Margaret at a party in 1959, giving rise to speculation that the two would become a couple. Heard said the two remained friends for life.

Turner moved to Montreal to practice law but was lured into politics by Liberal cabinet minister C.D. Howe, who asked him to help in an election campaign. Turner won a seat in 1962, representing the Quebec riding of St-Laurent-St-Georges.

He would later hold seats in two other provinces, Ontario and British Columbia, a feat unmatched since William Lyon Mackenzie King.

In 1965, he was named to cabinet by Lester Pearson, as a minister without portfolio. Two years later, Chretien and Pierre Trudeau joined cabinet, with Trudeau landing the plum post of attorney general and minister of justice. Turner toiled in the unglamorous job of registrar general, while Chretien languished with no portfolio.

It foreshadowed a rivalry that would divide the men in the years to come.

A few months later, Turner finally landed Consumer and Corporate Affairs, a ministry he convinced Pearson to create.

He once compared his job to that of a hockey star.

“Tonight you scored a goal and you’re a hero, tomorrow you let a goal in and you’re a bum,” he said in 1967. “And that’s politics.”

But Turner was well-liked on Parliament Hill, playing squash with opposition members and once, walking across the House of Commons to comfort a New Democrat who had just confessed to having a serious criminal record.

He saved then-Opposition leader John Diefenbaker from drowning while on vacation in Barbados, having unintentionally booked a stay at the same resort.

He married Geills McCrae Kilgour, the great-niece of Col. John McCrae who wrote “In Flanders Fields” and the sister of longtime MP David Kilgour, in 1963.

The two had a daughter, Elizabeth, and three sons, David, Michael and Andrew.

Turner ran to succeed Pearson in 1968, but lost to Pierre Trudeau. Even when it was all but certain he would lose, Turner stubbornly stayed in the race until the fourth and final ballot.

As justice minister in Trudeau’s cabinet between 1968 and 1972, Turner proposed a national legal aid system — an issue close to his heart — and created the Federal Court, among other reforms. But he was also put in difficult positions that sometimes challenged his personal beliefs.

He defended martial law and the suspension of civil liberties during the October Crisis of 1970, as well as the decriminalization of homosexuality and abortion in the 1960s.

“Those of us who support the bill recognize that there are areas of private behaviour which, however repugnant, however immoral, if they do not directly involve public order, should not properly be within the criminal law of Canada,” he said at the time.

He was named finance minister in 1972 and held the job for three turbulent years, marked by high unemployment and high rates of inflation. He left politics in 1975, which some believed was over his opposition to Trudeau’s decision to implement wage and price controls after the 1974 election.

Turner spent nearly a decade as a corporate lawyer on Bay Street before returning to politics after Trudeau resigned.

He won the 1984 Liberal leadership race, a divisive contest that pitted Turner against Chretien. The rift their rivalry created within the Liberal ranks plagued Turner for the rest of his career.

“Chretien and his people launched, almost from Day 1, a war of attrition against John Turner,” said Heard.

“Chretien’s people kept stabbing him in the back. They had coups and counter-coups going on. I spent more time dealing with caucus revolts inspired by the Chretien people than I spent opposing Brian Mulroney and his government. It was a ludicrous situation.”

Turner triggered an election just nine days after being sworn into office, forgoing the chance — some say foolishly — to host a visit by the Queen and another by the Pope that would have given the new prime minister golden opportunities for glowing, wall-to-wall media coverage.

The campaign was a disaster. The party wasn’t prepared to run a campaign and was mired in organizational problems. Chretien’s supporters were staging caucus revolts. And Trudeau’s parting gift — patronage appointments — would be Turner’s undoing.

But his outdated sensibilities landed him in trouble too, when he was filmed patting the rear end of Liberal party president Iona Campagnolo, who patted his bottom right back.

However, it made Turner look sexist and out of touch, and his unrepentant defence — calling himself a “tactile politician” and dismissing it as a joke — didn’t help matters.

The breaking point came during the 1984 election debate, when Turner was forced to defend Trudeau’s appointments, saying he had no option but approve them.

“You had an option, sir — to say no,” Mulroney said.

Turner, an expert debater, never recovered.

But he won a seat in Vancouver and led the Opposition Liberals for six more years.

The 1988 election provided a rematch with Mulroney over the Canada-U.S. free trade agreement, which Turner vehemently opposed, later calling it the fight of his life.

He triumphed in the debates, eloquently turning free trade into a referendum on Canadian sovereignty. But he faced mutiny from senior Liberals who wanted to dump him mid-campaign and choose another leader.

Turner didn’t win, but the Liberals recovered, doubling their seats in the House of Commons. He resigned in 1990 and quit politics three years later, joining a Toronto law firm.

Despite his declining health, he was a mainstay at many Liberal events. He gave speeches reminding the party of its golden years, sprinkled with wild stories about life on the political trail.

Throughout his political career, he stuck to his convictions, took up unexpected causes — like legal aid and free trade — and kept the Liberals together during some of their darkest days.

Bad timing stopped Turner from realizing his full potential as a great prime minister. In the end, the public tired of him before he reached the top.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 19, 2020.

Source:- CP24 Toronto’s Breaking News

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