U.S. President Donald Trump’s comments on Friday suggesting Canada is keen to reopen the border with his country stand in direct contrast to statements made by Canadian officials supporting the continued border restrictions.
“We’re looking at the border with Canada. Canada would like it open, and, you know, we want to get back to normal business,” Trump said at the White House, adding that “we’re going to be opening the borders pretty soon” to take advantage of the renegotiated NAFTA.
“We’re working with Canada. We want to pick a good date, having to do with the pandemic. And I happen to think we’re rounding the turn,” Trump said.
Asked by CBC News to respond, a spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office pointed to a tweet from Public Safety Minister Bill Blair earlier in the day, saying the border will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least Oct. 21.
“We will continue to base our decisions on the best public health advice available to keep Canadians safe,” Blair wrote.
When CBC first reported on the extension of restrictions into October — they were due to expire this week — one source said Canadians should prepare for them to last even longer.
The official stopped short, however, of saying they would remain until Christmas, but that the policy was open to tweaks.
Three senior sources with direct knowledge of the situation, speaking to CBC News on condition they not be named, have repeatedly expressed — over recent months and again on Friday — how pleased they are with the current restrictions.
One source said both Canada and the U.S. see them as effective and as strong, co-operative measures necessary to respond to the pandemic.
Keeping Canadians safe
Kirsten Hillman, Canada’s ambassador to the U.S., said last week that she speaks with U.S officials about the border restrictions on a weekly basis and there is a general agreement the current situation is working well.
“The measures are doing what they were designed to do … to allow the flow of commercial goods and essential services while controlling the spread of the virus and reduce the risk to our citizens on both sides,” Hillman said.
“When push comes to shove, our No. 1 goal is going to be to keep Canadians safe.”
Blair told reporters Wednesday that he’s looking to make adjustments to allow more travel on humanitarian grounds, but that any changes will be limited and that, broadly, he wants to keep the restrictions.
With COVID-19 caseloads still high in many U.S. states, public opinion surveys have also suggested there’s little appetite in Canada for change.
A new poll by Research Co. found earlier this month that out of 1,000 Canadians surveyed online at the end of August, 90 per cent agreed with the current restrictions.
The world’s longest international border has been closed to non-essential travel for months though essential workers — such as truck drivers and health-care professionals — are still able to cross by land. Canadians are also still able to fly to U.S. destinations.
Ottawa has also moved to curb the movement of Americans through Canada on their way to Alaska. U.S. travellers destined for the northern state have been limited to five crossings in Western Canada and they must commit to taking a direct route.
In June, a man travelling from Alaska to the continental United States was charged with violating Canada’s Quarantine Act. He was accused of twice failing to follow COVID-19 public safety rules while in Banff, Alta.
If he’s found to have violated a quarantine order, he could be fined up to $750,000 or sentenced to six months in jail.
Source: – CBC.ca
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Canada sees 2,341 new coronavirus cases as deaths near 10,000 – Global News
Canada added 2,341 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing the country’s total case count to 203,476.
Health authorities in Canada’s provinces also said another 16 people have died after testing positive for COVID-19.
The new fatalities bring the country’s total death toll to 9,794.
News of the new infections comes as health officials work to slow the spread of the virus as Canada faces a second wave of the pandemic.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the fight against the virus is “far from over.”
“And to win it, we have to keep working together,” he said. “Canada is a big country, the pandemic is playing out differently in different provinces and territories.
“That’s why I’m asking everyone to keep following the guidelines of their local public health authorities.”
In Ontario, 821 new cases were reported, and health officials said three more fatalities had occurred.
The new infections bring the province’s total case count to 65,896, and its death toll to 3,053.
However, 56,606 people have recovered from the virus, while 4,714,326 tests have been administered in Ontario.
Coronavirus: Trudeau says his kids won’t go trick-or-treating on Halloween this year
Meanwhile, in Quebec, 877 new cases of the respiratory illness were detected and health authorities confirmed 11 more people have died.
Since the pandemic began, 95,216 people have contracted the respiratory illness in the province.
Thus far, 80,468 people have recovered from COVID-19 in Quebec, while 2,839,254 people have been tested.
Forty-three new cases of the virus were reported in Saskatchewan on Tuesday, but the province’s death toll remained at 25.
A total of 233,017 tests for the novel coronavirus have been administered in Saskatchewan, while 1,987 people have recovered after falling ill.
Manitoba saw 109 new cases of the virus, but no new deaths.
Since the pandemic began, 1,703 people have recovered after contracting the illness, while 235,530 tests have been conducted.
Further west in Alberta, 323 new cases were reported, and health authorities said one more person had died, bringing the province’s death toll to 293.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Alberta has seen 22,996 COVID-19 infections, however, 19,500 people have recovered.
To date, 1,653,361 tests for the novel coronavirus have been administered.
British Columbia health officials said 166 new cases have been detected, and one more person has died.
The new infections bring the province’s total case load to 11,641.
One epidemiologically-linked case was also reported, meaning it has not yet been confirmed by a laboratory.
B.C. has seen 9,871 people recover from the respiratory illness and health officials have administered 736,637 tests.
No new infections or deaths related to COVID-19 were reported in New Brunswick, meaning the province’s total case count remained at 313.
So far, 215 people have recovered after becoming sick.
Provincial health authorities have administered 93,656 tests to date.
Nova Scotia did not report any new cases or deaths relating to the virus, either.
This means the province’s case count and death toll remained at 1,097 and 65, respectively.
A total of 106,748 tests for the virus have been conducted in Nova Scotia, while 1,027 have recovered after contracting COVID-19.
One new coronavirus case was detected in Prince Edward Island, bringing the province’s total case load to 64.
However, 61 of those cases are considered to be resolved.
The island, which has not yet seen a death associated with COVID-19, has conducted 42,377 tests.
Coronavirus: Canadians must reduce contacts to bring pandemic under control, Dr. Tam says
Newfoundland did not detect any new infections or deaths on Tuesday.
The province, which has seen 287 confirmed cases, has not reported a new case since Thursday.
So far, 272 people have recovered from the virus, while 49,117 have been tested.
New case in the territories
One new case was reported in the Northwest Territories on Tuesday, bringing the total case count in the region to six.
However, five of those cases are considered to be resolved. The territory has tested 5,939 people to date.
In the Yukon, 17 cases of the virus have been confirmed, 15 of which are considered to be resolved.
The territory has not yet seen a COVID-19 related death, and has tested 3,785 people.
Nunavut has not yet seen a confirmed case of the virus.
Global cases approach 41 million
The number of novel coronavirus cases remained under 41 million on Tuesday.
According to a tally from Johns Hopkins University, by 7:20 p.m. ET there were a total of 40,652,097 COVID-19 cases around the world.
Since the virus was first detected in China late last year, it has claimed 1,122,036 lives.
Coronavirus: Tam says provinces need to ‘test smartly’ as 2nd wave of COVID-19 grips Canada
The United States remained the country with the greatest amount of COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, with more than 8.2 million infections.
So far, more than 220,000 people have died in the U.S. after testing positive for coronavirus.
India has reported the second-most cases at 7.5 million, and has seen over 115,000 fatalities.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada – BradfordToday
The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern):
Health officials in B.C. are reporting new outbreaks at three long-term care facilities and 167 more new cases of COVID-19.
A statement from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says another person has died, for a total of 254 deaths.
There have been 11,854 cases diagnosed in the province, while 9,871 people who tested positive are considered recovered.
Henry says the efforts made by B.C. residents to contain COVID-19 are making a difference to help slow its spread.
Chief of the defence staff Gen. Jonathan Vance has ordered Canadian troops to keep up their guard against COVID-19 while painting a gloomy picture of how the pandemic could affect the military and country.
The order is contained in a new directive from Vance and Defence Department deputy minister Jody Thomas in which they describe complacency around physical distancing, mask wearing and other public-health measures as the greatest threat to the military when it comes to COVID-19.
At the same time, they suggest the pandemic will get worse before it gets better, with expectations it could last 12 months or longer and result in more infections among military personnel along with continued shortages of medical equipment across the country.
Manitoba is reporting 109 new COVID-19 cases, with 88 of them in Winnipeg.
Health officials are also reporting outbreaks at one school and three long-term care homes in the city.
The greater Winnipeg region has been under stricter health orders, including mandatory mask use in public indoor areas, after numbers started climbing last month.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his children are not going trick-or-treating for Halloween this year.
He says this is because Ottawa, where he and his family live, is considered a COVID-19 hot spot and local public health officials have advised against children going door-to-door this year.
He says his children might take part in a hunt for candy around the house instead.
Trudeau says he understands how frustrating the pandemic is for parents and children but stressed it is important to listen to the guidance of local public health officials.
Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, has said that trick-or-treating can be done safely, but Canadians should follow the advice of local public health officials because the spread of the novel coronavirus is different across the country.
Canada’s chief public health officer says there have been 201,437 cases of COVID-19 in Canada reported as of Monday evening.
Dr. Theresa Tam says there have been 9,778 deaths from the illness.
She says Canadians needs to keep making a collective effort to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
She says this includes keeping a limited number of contacts, downloading the COVID-19 Alert app and making sure to spread accurate information about the illness on social media.
Small Business Minister Mary Ng says Ottawa is committing $12 million to a fund to help small business owners respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The money is to be made available through the Canada United Small Business Resilience Fund.
It will help small business owners buy personal protective equipment, renovate their spaces to respond to local public health measures and boost their ability to sell things online.
Ng also encouraged everyone to download the COVID-19 Alert app to help them learn if they have been exposed to the novel coronavirus.
Ng says she took a COVID-19 test and received a negative result after being notified of an exposure through the app.
Quebec is reporting 877 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus.
Health officials are also reporting a jump in hospitalizations of 33, for a total of 565, with 100 people in intensive care, a rise of eight.
The province said today five people died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours while seven deaths occurred between Oct. 13 and 18.
Quebec has reported a total of 95,216 cases of COVID-19 and 6,055 deaths attributed to the virus since the start of the pandemic.
Authorities say one death previously attributed to COVID-19 was unrelated while 90 cases had been incorrectly labelled as positive.
Ontario is reporting 821 new cases of COVID-19 today, and three new deaths due to the virus.
Health Minister Christine Elliott says 327 cases are in Toronto, 136 in Peel Region, 79 in Ottawa, and 64 in York Region.
The province says it has a backlog of 24,129 tests, and has conducted 24,049 tests since the last daily report.
In total, 274 people are hospitalized in Ontario due to COVID-19.
Prince Edward Island is reporting one new case of COVID-19.
Dr. Heather Morrison, the chief public health officer, says the case involves a woman in her 20s who is a rotational worker and who travelled outside of the Atlantic bubble.
There are currently three active cases on the Island.
Since the pandemic began, P.E.I. has seen a total of 64 cases and all have been travel related.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 20, 2020.
The Canadian Press
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