People in Toronto and Peel Region can eat inside a restaurant and catch a movie in a theatre starting today, though they still have to follow physical distancing rules and other health measures.
The two areas are joining most of Ontario in Stage 3 of its economic recovery, which allows most businesses and public spaces to reopen.
Toronto city council has enacted a series of additional health measures beyond those set by the province in preparation for the change, including capacity and table size limits for indoor dining in restaurants.
The rest of the province is also implementing additional rules, with bars and restaurants in Ontario now required to keep client logs for a period of 30 days.
In a statement this morning, the province says food and drink establishments will have to disclose those logs to the medical officer of health or an inspector on request.
Health Minister Christine Elliott says the measures will support contact tracing.
Windsor-Essex is now the only area still in Stage 2 of the government’s reopening plan, with health officials saying they want more data before further loosening restrictions.
The region has been grappling with ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks on farms and said earlier this week that numbers have also been on the rise in the city of Windsor.
On Thursday, Ontario reported fewer than 100 new cases of COVID-19 for a second day in a row.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on July 31, 2020.
Saudi Aramco profits crash 73% as coronavirus sinks oil market – RT
The world’s biggest oil exporter, Saudi Aramco, has reported massive losses for the second quarter, with its net profit nosediving 73.4 percent, as the Covid-19 outbreak crippled global demand for crude.
The oil giant’s net profit plunged to 24.6 billion riyals ($6.6 billion) for the three months to June 30, from 92.6 billion riyals ($24.7 billion) in the same period of 2019, according to a regulatory filing published at the Tadawul exchange where its stock trades. For the whole first half of the year, Saudi Aramco said its net income plunged to 87.1 billion riyals ($23.2 billion) down 50 percent from 175.9 billion riyals ($46.9 billion) one a year ago.
“Strong headwinds from reduced demand and lower oil prices are reflected in our second quarter results,” CEO Amin Nasser said, adding that the company is trying to adapt to the unprecedented conditions created by the pandemic. “We are seeing a partial recovery in the energy market as countries around the world take steps to ease restrictions and reboot their economies.”
The financial results, which were even worse than analysts predicted, however, did not sink the company’s stock. After the company presented the report on Sunday, its shares were up slightly by 0.15 percent. Notably, the company’s shares fell much less this year than those of its overseas peers. While Saudi Aramco stock slipped around six percent, those of Exxon Mobil were down 38 percent, while Shell declined by half.
Most energy companies have taken a painful blow from the coronavirus pandemic as lockdowns to contain the spread of the deadly virus limited travel and halted production, crushing demand for crude and sending oil prices into a tailspin. In April, US crude futures entered into negative territory for the first time in history.
While crude prices have already bounced from April lows thanks to output cuts agreed on by OPEC+ producers, they are still down around 30 percent from a year earlier.
Saudi Aramco went public last year, with its IPO becoming the largest in history. The oil giant has long held the position of world’s most valuable company – until last week, when it was dethroned by US tech giant Apple.
For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section
COVID-19 Bulletin #150 – news.gov.mb.ca
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Ontario adds 151K new jobs in July, majority are part-time positions – CTV Toronto
Ontario added 151,000 new jobs in July, the country’s national statistics agency said, but the majority of them were part-time positions.
After losing more than one million jobs in a three-month time span following the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario added about 378,000 jobs in June. In July, employment in the province grew by 2.2 per cent.
The Labour Force Survey (LFS) released on Friday, which used the week of July 12 to 18 as a sample, said that businesses and workplaces across Canada have continued to reopen after being shuttered due to COVID-19 restrictions. At the same time, the survey was conducted while much of the province was still in Stage 2 of Ontario’s economic reopening plan.
“Although public health restrictions had been substantially eased in most parts of the country—with the exception of some regions of Ontario, including Toronto—some measures remained in place, including physical distancing requirements and restrictions on large gatherings,” Statistics Canada said.
Of the 151,000 jobs added in Ontario, Statistics Canada said that about 145,000 were part-time positions. The agency attributed that number to the fact that part-time workers were hit hardest by the shuttered economy months ago.
“This was due to a number of factors, including part-time work being more prevalent in industries that were most affected by the COVID-19 economic shutdown, namely retail trade and accommodation and food services.”
Ontario’s unemployment rate has now fallen to 11.3 per cent, down from 12.2 per cent the previous month.
In Toronto, employment also rose by about 2.2 per cent, with close to 26,000 jobs added in the city. Statistics Canada says that employment in Toronto has now reached 89.9 per cent of its February, pre-COVID-19 level.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford posted a brief message on social media Friday afternoon saying he was happy to see the July labour numbers.
“What I love are the job numbers today, 150,000 people going back to work, the premier said in a video on Twitter, noting that there is still work to do to rebuild the province’s economy.
“That is great news for the people of Ontario.”
About 419,000 jobs were gained across Canada in the month of July, reducing the national unemployment rate to 10.9 per cent.
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