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Trudeau and Trump are worlds apart on the Canada-U.S. border closure

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Although Canada and the U.S. have agreed to close their shared land border to non-essential travel, they don’t appear to agree on several related issues — including what to do next.

More than seven months after the border closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump have offered up contradictory messages about what happens now.

The Canada-U.S. border is set to reopen on Oct. 21, but Trudeau implied this week that the closure will be extended.

In an interview Wednesday on Winnipeg podcast The Start, Trudeau said Canada plans to keep the border closed as long as COVID-19 case counts in the U.S. remains high.

“We keep extending the border closures because the United States is not in a place where we would feel comfortable reopening those borders,” he said.

Four weeks prior, Trump offered a different prognosis for the Canada-U.S. border closure.

“We’re looking at the border with Canada — Canada would like it open,” he said at the White House on Sept. 18.

“So we’re gonna be opening the borders pretty soon…. We want to get back to normal business.”

 

 

U.S. President Donald Trump responded to a question about the border as he left the White House on Friday, Sept. 18. 0:48

Foreign affairs expert Edward Alden said the disconnect between the two leaders suggests there are currently no joint discussions about an eventual reopening plan.

“With the Trudeau government saying, ‘No, don’t open’ … and President Trump saying, ‘Oh, I think we’ll reopen sometime soon,’ that’s no grounds for a serious government-to-government negotiation,” said Alden, a professor of U.S.-Canada economic relations at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash.

Even though many Canadians support the border closure, which took effect in late March, it has devastated the tourism industry, separated loved ones and hurt border communities in both Canada and the U.S.

 

Foreign policy expert Edward Alden believes Canada and the U.S. may not be engaging in any discussion on a possible reopening of the border. (submitted by Edward Alden)

 

Alden said he understands why the border is closed for now, but that it’s important to start laying the groundwork for a reopening plan.

“The problem of not having those negotiations is, when do we possibly have a sense of when it will be safe to reopen the border?”

CBC News asked both the Canadian and U.S. governments about the fate of the border closure and got disparate answers.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said the two countries are exploring the loosening of some restrictions.

“We believe both the U.S. and Canada are working well together to review potential areas for future off-ramping, when public health conditions permit,” a DHS spokesperson said in an email.

But a spokesperson for Bill Blair — Canada’s public safety minister — offered a less definitive statement on the next steps.

“We will continue to evaluate the best public health information available to us to make a decision on when and how to reopen our border,” the spokesperson said in an email.

“This decision will be made in Canada.”

According to Reuters — which spoke with well-placed Washington and Ottawa sources last month — the U.S. had floated the idea of relaxing some border restrictions, but Canadian officials showed little enthusiasm.

Canadians advised not to go to U.S.

In another disconnect between the two countries, Trudeau is warning Canadians not to fly to the U.S., while the U.S. is welcoming Canadian air passengers.

Although the U.S. agreed to close its shared land border with Canada, it still allows Canadians to fly to the country for leisure travel. The U.S. government declined to explain why it made this decision.

Conversely, Canada won’t allow Americans to enter for non-essential travel by any mode of transport unless they get a special exemption.

 

Some Canadian snowbirds plan to head to the southern U.S. this winter, despite the recommendation to avoid all non-essential travel. (Marsha Halper/The Miami Herald/The Associated Press)

 

CBC News recently reported on some Canadian snowbirds planning to fly to Florida this winter — because they can.

When asked about Canadians — including snowbirds — flying to the U.S., Trudeau said in the podcast interview that they should stay home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“People have to recognize that they’re putting themselves at risk, they’re putting their loved ones at risk.” he said. “The recommendation is to avoid non-essential travel, and that’s for people’s own safety.”

Case numbers down in sun states

Trudeau and Trump also disagree on the COVID-19 status of some of the U.S. sun destinations Canadians might be tempted to visit this winter.

“I know there’s a lot of people very worried about what’s happening south of the border in Florida and Arizona and California and other places where the virus is not under control — far less under control than we are here,” Trudeau said in the interview.

However, when Trump suggested the border would soon reopen, he said that Florida and Arizona are “doing very well.”

According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, new daily COVID-19 case numbers in Arizona, Florida and California have declined dramatically since their worrisome peaks in the summer.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 case numbers have surged recently in some Canadian provinces.

Trump made a point of highlighting this fact in a speech last week.

“All over the world you see big flare-ups,” he told a crowd of supporters. “Big flare-ups in Canada.”

Source:- CBC.ca

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2,145 more coronavirus cases confirmed as Canadian total pushes past 215,000 – Global News

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Canada added 2,145 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus to its nationwide tally on Sunday, along with 24 more deaths.

So far, 215,884 people in Canada have tested positive for the virus, while the country’s death toll stands at 9,946. Since the pandemic began, 181,429 people have recovered after falling ill and more than 11.1 million tests have been administered.

Read more:
Quebec reaches more than 100,000 total cases of COVID-19

Sunday’s numbers represent a partial update on the pandemic because B.C., Alberta, P.E.I. and the territories only provide new figures on weekdays.

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said the latest national data showed Canada was averaging 2,488 newly confirmed cases and 74,719 tests conducted per day, Of those tested, she said 3.1 per cent resulted in a positive diagnosis.

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“Outbreaks continue to contribute to COVID-19 spread in Canada,” Tam said in a statement.

“These vary in size from just a few cases to larger clusters occurring in a range of settings including long term care and assisted living facilities, schools, congregate living settings, industrial work settings and large social gatherings.”


Click to play video 'Travel agency plans to extend Atlantic bubble to Cuba'



2:07
Travel agency plans to extend Atlantic bubble to Cuba


Travel agency plans to extend Atlantic bubble to Cuba

In Quebec — the country’s viral epicentre — health officials reported 879 new cases of COVID-19, tipping the provincial total past 100,000.

They added 11 more people had died, moving the number of deaths in the province up to 6,143.

As of Sunday, 84,828 people residing in the province had recovered and more than 2.9 million COVID-19 tests had been administered.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

Ontario health officials detected 1,042 more infections of the virus, setting a new single-day record, and said seven more people had died.

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Since the pandemic began, the province has confirmed 70,373 cases of COVID-19 and 3,093 deaths.

More than 4.9 million tests for the virus have been conducted while 60,160 people are in recovery.

In the wake of the province’s grim milestone, Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott urged Canadians to follow public health guidelines and reduce the curve in a series of posts on Twitter.

“We all need to do our part to #StopTheSpread of #COVID19,” she tweeted.

Sixty more people were diagnosed with COVID-19 in Saskatchewan, bringing the province’s national number to 2,729. So far, 25 people in the province have died from the virus, 2,085 have recovered and 247,909 tests have been administered by provincial health authorities. Twenty five people are in hospital and 619 cases are active.

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The number of active cases and hospitalizations are at their highest levels seen in the province.

Read more:
Saskatchewan reports 60 new cases as hospitalizations hit an all-time high

Scott Moe, who is seeking reelection as premier this week, said during a campaign stop on Saturday that the spread of the coronavirus could be curbed without having to resort to shutdowns.

“We will not have to have an economy-wide shutdown. We understand the virus much better,” he said.


Click to play video 'How to prepare your child for a COVID-19 nasal swab'



4:45
How to prepare your child for a COVID-19 nasal swab


How to prepare your child for a COVID-19 nasal swab

In Manitoba, health authorities said four more people had died and 161 new cases of COVID-19 were detected. Since the start of the pandemic, the province has reported 4,249 cases and 54 deaths.

By Sunday, 2,142 people had recovered after falling ill and officials conducted 240,639 tests.

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Two more COVID-19-related deaths were recorded in New Brunswick on Sunday.

“I extend my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the individuals, as well as to all of those in the Campbellton-Restigouche and Moncton regions,” chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell said in a statement.

“Kindness and compassion, along with strict adherence to two-metre distancing, and mask use are how we will get through this together.”

Read more:
4 COVID-19 deaths in Manitoba, 161 new cases Sunday, 77 hospitalized

The province also reported two new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 328 confirmed infections and six deaths. So far, 96,747 tests have been administered and 257 of the province’s confirmed cases are considered resolved.

Newfoundland and Labrador reported one more case of the virus on Sunday, bringing its total to 280. The case is tied to travel, officials said.

Among the provinces that provided updates on Saturday, Nova Scotia was the only one that did not see any new cases. The cumulative total stands at 1,110 infections, only six of which are currently active.

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2,145 more coronavirus cases confirmed as Canadian total pushes past 215,000 – Global News

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Canada added 2,145 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus to its nationwide tally on Sunday, along with 24 more deaths.

So far, 215,884 people in Canada have tested positive for the virus, while the country’s death toll stands at 9,946. Since the pandemic began, 181,429 people have recovered after falling ill and more than 11.1 million tests have been administered.

Read more:
Quebec reaches more than 100,000 total cases of COVID-19

Sunday’s numbers represent a partial update on the pandemic because B.C., Alberta, P.E.I. and the territories only provide new figures on weekdays.

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said the latest national data showed Canada was averaging 2,488 newly confirmed cases and 74,719 tests conducted per day, Of those tested, she said 3.1 per cent resulted in a positive diagnosis.

Story continues below advertisement

“Outbreaks continue to contribute to COVID-19 spread in Canada,” Tam said in a statement.

“These vary in size from just a few cases to larger clusters occurring in a range of settings including long term care and assisted living facilities, schools, congregate living settings, industrial work settings and large social gatherings.”


Click to play video 'Travel agency plans to extend Atlantic bubble to Cuba'



2:07
Travel agency plans to extend Atlantic bubble to Cuba


Travel agency plans to extend Atlantic bubble to Cuba

In Quebec — the country’s viral epicentre — health officials reported 879 new cases of COVID-19, tipping the provincial total past 100,000.

They added 11 more people had died, moving the number of deaths in the province up to 6,143.

As of Sunday, 84,828 people residing in the province had recovered and more than 2.9 million COVID-19 tests had been administered.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

Ontario health officials detected 1,042 more infections of the virus, setting a new single-day record, and said seven more people had died.

Story continues below advertisement

Since the pandemic began, the province has confirmed 70,373 cases of COVID-19 and 3,093 deaths.

More than 4.9 million tests for the virus have been conducted while 60,160 people are in recovery.

In the wake of the province’s grim milestone, Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott urged Canadians to follow public health guidelines and reduce the curve in a series of posts on Twitter.

“We all need to do our part to #StopTheSpread of #COVID19,” she tweeted.

Sixty more people were diagnosed with COVID-19 in Saskatchewan, bringing the province’s national number to 2,729. So far, 25 people in the province have died from the virus, 2,085 have recovered and 247,909 tests have been administered by provincial health authorities. Twenty five people are in hospital and 619 cases are active.

Story continues below advertisement

The number of active cases and hospitalizations are at their highest levels seen in the province.

Read more:
Saskatchewan reports 60 new cases as hospitalizations hit an all-time high

Scott Moe, who is seeking reelection as premier this week, said during a campaign stop on Saturday that the spread of the coronavirus could be curbed without having to resort to shutdowns.

“We will not have to have an economy-wide shutdown. We understand the virus much better,” he said.


Click to play video 'How to prepare your child for a COVID-19 nasal swab'



4:45
How to prepare your child for a COVID-19 nasal swab


How to prepare your child for a COVID-19 nasal swab

In Manitoba, health authorities said four more people had died and 161 new cases of COVID-19 were detected. Since the start of the pandemic, the province has reported 4,249 cases and 54 deaths.

By Sunday, 2,142 people had recovered after falling ill and officials conducted 240,639 tests.

Story continues below advertisement

Two more COVID-19-related deaths were recorded in New Brunswick on Sunday.

“I extend my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the individuals, as well as to all of those in the Campbellton-Restigouche and Moncton regions,” chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell said in a statement.

“Kindness and compassion, along with strict adherence to two-metre distancing, and mask use are how we will get through this together.”

Read more:
4 COVID-19 deaths in Manitoba, 161 new cases Sunday, 77 hospitalized

The province also reported two new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 328 confirmed infections and six deaths. So far, 96,747 tests have been administered and 257 of the province’s confirmed cases are considered resolved.

Newfoundland and Labrador reported one more case of the virus on Sunday, bringing its total to 280. The case is tied to travel, officials said.

Among the provinces that provided updates on Saturday, Nova Scotia was the only one that did not see any new cases. The cumulative total stands at 1,110 infections, only six of which are currently active.

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Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Monday – CBC.ca

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The latest:

Ontario, which trails only Quebec in the number of recorded coronavirus cases and deaths in Canada, reported 851 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, down from Sunday’s tally of more than 1,000 new cases. 

Most of the new cases were reported in Toronto, York and Peel regions and Ottawa. 

The province reported 1,042 confirmed new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, a record number for a single day.

Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist and researcher at Toronto General Hospital, said over the weekend that while the cause of the recent spike in Ontario is not entirely clear, the week ahead will offer a critical window for assessing the province’s progress in combating the pandemic.

As of Monday morning there were 295 people in Ontario hospitalized due to the virus, including 78 in ICU.

Quebec, which has recorded more than 100,000 COVID-19 cases since the global pandemic began, reported 879 new cases on Sunday.

Writing in French on Twitter, provincial Health Minister Christian Dubé said in comparing the last two weeks, the number of cases is stable but remains high. Dubé urged people to make an effort to slow transmission of the virus, noting that new cases could lead to increased hospitalizations and deaths.

The most recent figures available on Quebec’s COVID-19 hospitalizations stood at 551, with 97 in intensive care.

“As hospitalizations and deaths tend to lag behind increased disease activity by one to several weeks, the concern is that we have yet to see the extent of severe impacts associated with the ongoing increase in COVID-19 disease activity,” Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said in a statement on Sunday. 

WATCH: Dr. Christopher Labos talks about COVID-19 in Ontario and Quebec:

The COVID-19 situation is relatively stable in Ontario and better in Quebec compared to a month ago, and it’s important to look at the trend of cases, says epidemiologist and cardiologist Dr. Christopher Labos. 2:59


What’s happening across Canada

As of 10:20 a.m. ET on Monday, Canada had 216,955 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 182,108 of those as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting rose to 9,952.

Voters are going to the polls today in Saskatchewan, the third provincial election since the pandemic began. Elections Saskatchewan said on Twitter over the weekend that 153,749 ballots were cast in four days of advance voting. That number is almost the same as the 2016 and 2011 advanced voting combined, the election agency said.

In Manitoba, provincial health officials reported 161 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday and four new deaths. A statement from officials Sunday said there were “77 people in hospital and 15 people in intensive care.”

Alberta, which reported 432 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, did not provide updated figures over the weekend.

In British Columbia, which did not provide updated numbers over the weekend, a school is facing a temporary closure. École de l’Anse-au-sable in Kelowna will be closed until Nov. 4 after 11 people tested positive and 160 more were asked to self-isolate.

New Brunswick health officials announced Sunday that two more people in the province “have lost their lives to the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing the total of lives lost to six.” The province also announced two new cases — one in the Campbellton region and one in the Fredericton region.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, health officials announced one new case of COVID-19, an Ontario man in his 60s who had recently travelled to western Newfoundland after he was granted a travel exemption.

Prince Edward Island had no new cases on Sunday, nor did Nova Scotia.  There were no new cases in Yukon, Nunavut or the Northwest Territories on Sunday.


What’s happening around the world

Johns Hopkins University, which has been tracking the global spread of the novel virus, reported 43,174,685 cases worldwide, with 29,014,4079 cases listed as recovered, as of 10:50 a.m. ET on Monday. The Baltimore-based university reported 1,155,473 deaths worldwide. 

In Europe, France was reporting that virus patients now occupy more than half of the country’s intensive care units, and some doctors are urging tougher restrictions after another record jump in confirmed infections. Dr. Jean-Francois Delfraissy, head of the government’s virus advisory body, expressed surprise Monday at the “brutality” of the rise, after more than 52,000 new cases were reported Sunday.

France has been among countries hardest-hit by the pandemic, reporting 34,761 virus-related deaths. It is currently registering more than 340 positive cases per 100,000 people nationwide each week.

People walk past a restaurant on the first night of a countrywide curfew on Sunday in Madrid. Spain has declared a national state of emergency and imposed a night-time curfew from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. in an effort to help control a new spike in COVID-19 infections. (Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)

In Spain, which has had more than 1 million cases of the disease, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez warned the country was facing an “extreme” situation as he announced a new state of emergency on Sunday, imposing local nighttime curfews and banning travel between regions in some cases.

Authorities in Spain’s northeastern region of Catalonia are considering a mandatory stay-at-home order for weekends only, one of the strictest measures being imposed across the country to combat a sharp resurgence of the coronavirus.

In the Asia-Pacific region, Australia’s former coronavirus hot spot Melbourne will largely emerge from lockdown after the city on Monday recorded its first day without a new COVID-19 case in more than four months. Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews said from 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday all shops, restaurants, cafes and bars will be allowed to open and outdoors contact sports can resume.

India on Monday reported fewer than 46,000 new coronavirus cases, continuing a downward trend, though rising air pollution and the Hindu festival season continue to raise fears of a fresh surge in infections. The country’s health ministry said that 45,148 new cases raised the country’s overall toll to over 7.9 million. The ministry also reported 480 new fatalities, raising the death toll to 119,014.

In the Americas, the race for the U.S. presidency continues amid the global pandemic, with U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence campaigning on Sunday despite a COVID-19 outbreak among his aides. The pandemic, which has caused about 225,000 U.S. deaths and left millions of Americans jobless, remains front and centre in the presidential race.

Trump continues to insist the U.S. is turning the corner as new coronavirus new cases surge across most of the country, with nine days to go before the election. 3:30

Residents in the Texas border city of El Paso have been urged to stay home for two weeks as a spike in coronavirus cases overwhelms hospitals.

Nurses gathered information on Oct. 23 from patients lining up in their cars for COVID-19 tests at the University of Texas El Paso. County health officials on Sunday reported 772 new cases, a day after a record 1,216 new infections were reported. (Paul Ratje/AFP/Getty Images)

The uptick in virus cases has also prompted the state to dedicate part of the city’s civic centre as a makeshift heath-care centre for the ill. On Sunday night, El Paso County’s top elected official issued a stay-at-home order that imposes a daily curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Violators could be fined $500 US under the order.

Mexican health authorities acknowledge the country’s true death toll from the coronavirus pandemic is far higher than previously thought, saying there were 193,170 “excess” deaths in the year up to Sept. 26. Of those, 139,153 are now judged to be attributable to COVID-19. Mexico’s official, test-confirmed death toll is only about 89,000, but officials previously acknowledged many people didn’t get tested or their tests were mishandled.

A member of the cleaning team sanitizes the stadium as part of the COVID-19 protocol before the 15th round at Kraken Stadium on Saturday in Mazatlan, Mexico. (Sergio Mejia/Getty Images)

In the Middle East, Qatar has signed an agreement with drugmaker Moderna Inc to buy its potential COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is approved and released for global use, state news agency QNA quoted a health official as saying on Sunday. 

Israel will begin human trials for a potential COVID-19 vaccine developed by a research institute overseen by the country’s defence ministry on Nov. 1 after receiving regulatory approval, the ministry said on Sunday.

In Africa, South Africa’s health ministry reported 24 additional COVID-19 deaths, bringing the country’s total to 18,968. South Africa has the most recorded coronavirus cases in Africa, with Johns Hopkins putting its cumulative case number at 715,868.

Have a coronavirus question or news tip for CBC News? Email us at COVID@cbc.ca

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