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The latest developments on COVID-19 in Canada


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

7:15 p.m.

Police in Delta, B.C., say it was "troubling" to catch two people this week allegedly reselling medical face masks at highly inflated prices.

The police department alleges in a news release that officers found one vendor offering 60 N-95 respirators for $1,200 and another selling 3,000 surgical masks for $2,200.

Both vendors were given $500 bylaw tickets and voluntarily gave up the medical supplies to police.

The police say they will consult the local health authority to determine the best use for the masks.

The secondary resale of medical supplies and personal protective equipment was banned on March 26 in B.C.


7 p.m.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says the province has seen 107 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.

He is attributing the high number to the province's largest single-day total of test results.

Kenney says the total number of cases is 1,075.

He says there have been five additional deaths, bringing the total to 18.

Kenney says 196 people have recovered from the virus.


6:10 p.m.

Four more people have died in British Columbia from COVID-19, bringing the number of deaths to 35.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer, says there have been 53 new positive tests for the virus for a total of 1,174 cases.

Of those, 641 people have recovered.

Henry says the province is in the "thick" of the fight against the new coronavirus.


6:09 p.m.

An annual summertime ritual at Rideau Hall is being cancelled.

In a tweet, Lt.-Gen. Wayne Eyre says the military is cancelling changing of the guard and the mounting of sentries at Rideau Hall.

The head of the Canadian Army says the difficult decision is necessary to protect the safety and well-being of all involved.


5:45 p.m.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi says Calgary's ban on public events until June 30 includes NHL and CFL games should those leagues resume before then.

Leagues, games and tournaments around the world have been suspended, cancelled or postponed indefinitely because of the COVID-19 crisis.

The NHL suspended operations March 12 with 189 regular-season games remaining.

The Calgary Flames were in playoff position sitting third in the Pacific Division. 

All CFL training camps have been postponed.


4:45 p.m.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says the Trump administration's call for a manufacturer to shop shipping N-95 masks to Canada is nothing short of a betrayal.

Moe says the decision is reckless and wants it reversed.

He says Canada and the U.S. have been the closest of allies and he's reaching out to American governors on the issue.


4 p.m.

Canadians who had been stranded for weeks on two cruise ships are now on their way home.

Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne tweeted that a plane chartered by cruise operator Holland America has taken off.

Only those who are asymptomatic are being allowed back into Canada for the time being, and the government has said they'll enter isolation upon their return.


3:55 p.m.

The Saskatchewan government says an employee at an assisted living centre in Regina has tested positive for COVID-19.

It says the facility is closed to admissions, discharges and transfers.

The Ministry of Health says there's no indication the virus has spread to other employees or residents, but residents who were in contact with the infected employee will be isolated for 14 days.

The province also announced all employees working in long-term care facilities will have their temperatures checked before beginning their shifts.

Saskatchewan has reported 220 cases of the virus.


3 p.m.

Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart says there are no confirmed outbreaks or clusters of COVID-19 in the city's Downtown Eastside, where many residents have underlying health conditions.

But he says it's "simply a matter of time" before COVID-19 spreads in communities across B.C.

Stewart says BC Housing has now secured hundreds of hotel rooms in Vancouver for people who are homeless or precariously housed and need to enter self-isolation.

He adds that recent income, food and cleaning supports are "stop gaps" for the next few weeks and the city needs help from higher levels of government to keep these efforts going.


2:30 p.m.

The Manitoba government reported 15 new COVID-19 cases today, bringing the total to 182.

There has also been a second death, a man in his 50s with underlying medical conditions.

Nine people are hospitalized, with six in intensive care.

Health officials say 11 people have recovered.


2:23 p.m.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says more businesses will be closing in the province in the wake of grim projections about the spread of COVID-19.

Ford says the new closures will take effect Saturday at 11:59 p.m., and will include all industrial construction except for essential projects, such as hospitals.

The announcement comes after public health officials released figures showing between 3,000 and 15,000 could die in Ontario over the full course of the pandemic.

Ford says physical distancing saves lives and his government is prepared to do whatever it takes to protect Ontarians.


2:05 p.m.

CIBC says it is offering reduced interest rates on personal credit cards for Canadians in financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bank says credit card clients who request to skip a payment and are experiencing financial difficulties will receive a temporary lower annual interest rate of 10.99 per cent.

It says for the 80,000 Canadians who have already received CIBC credit card relief, the temporary lower rate will be retroactively applied to March 15.


1:55 p.m.

New Brunswick is reporting four new cases of COVID-19, bringing the provincial total to 95.

Chief medical officer Dr. Jennifer Russell says modelling is being done to determine what the province's health-care system can absorb.

That modelling is expected to be released next week.

Russell said she expects a shipment of personal protective equipment and other supplies to arrive on Monday.


1:21 p.m.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault says the province recorded 25 more deaths related to COVID-19 since the day prior, bringing the provincial total to 61.

But Legault said today the majority of the new recorded deaths did not occur in the past 24 hours, because the province had been investigating 20 prior fatalities to see whether they had been the result of COVID-19.

The premier says the province recorded an additional 583 positive cases of COVID-19, for a total of 6,101, and another 64 hospitalizations including 26 patients in intensive care.

Legault says medical authorities are planning to present to the public a series of projections related to COVID-19 next Tuesday.


1:12 p.m.

Canada's top public health official is urging people to have caution when looking at provincial models for how COVID-19 will develop.

Ontario released its projections for the best and worst case scenarios of the crisis.

Dr. Theresa Tam says people should remember they are just that, projections, and not real data.

She says both must be examined to get an accurate picture of where the virus is headed.


12:57 p.m.

Health Minister Patty Hajdu says Canada is paying inflated prices for personal protective equipment.

She says the global market is extremely competitive as every country vies for the limited supply.

She says Canada is keeping an eye on the cost, but is focused on getting what’s needed.

Health Canada is also taking measures to guard against fraud and counterfeit PPE that’s being produced.


12:51 p.m.

The 2020 edition of the Montreal International Jazz Festival has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The flagship event that draws musicians and fans from around the world was set to open June 25.

The festival's general manager says the decision to cancel it, as well as a festival of francophone music set for June, was necessary to protect the public, artists and festival staff.

The announcement comes the same day Montreal’s Just for Laughs comedy festival announced it will be postponed until the fall, opening Sept. 29.


12:49 p.m.

Canada’s top public health official says authorities are reviewing their policies in light of new studies about the transmission of the novel coronavirus.

Some studies have found that people without symptoms are able to transmit the virus.

Dr. Theresa Tam says those studies have only been released in the last few days and weeks, and are being reviewed.

She says they may have implications for policies in long-term care settings in particular.


12:42 p.m.

Prince Edward Island is reporting no new cases of COVID-19 Friday, leaving the provincial total at 22.

Chief medical officer, Dr. Heather Morrison, says four people have recovered.

She says more than 1,000 tests have been done on the Island.

Morrison says extra people have been hired to help staff the 811 Tele-care line.


12:36 p.m.

There are 12 more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador, bringing the provincial total to 195.

Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, chief medical officer of health, says the cases announced Friday are all in the Eastern Health region.

Fitzgerald says eleven people are in the hospital due to the virus and 11 people have recovered.


12:36 p.m.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland says the government is planning to ‘pull out all the stops’ to press the U.S. on its plans to limit supplies to Canada.

The White House ordered manufacturer 3M not to ship N95 respirators across the border to Canada.

Freeland says Canada will push back hard.

She says all ministers are in touch with their U.S. counterparts and the provincial premiers have also been asked to get involved.


12:32 p.m.

The Manitoba government is letting people hurt by the COVID-19 economic fallout avoid penalties and interest on some utility payments and property taxes.

Premier Brian Pallister says there will be a six-month period, until Oct. 1, in which people can defer payments to Crown-owned hydroelectric, natural gas and auto insurance agencies without interest or penalties.

Pallister says he is also working with municipalities so that interest is not charged for six months on the provincial education property tax and school division fees.

The province is also funding 140 new beds at homeless shelters, and repurposing a vacant public housing building to allow for social distancing.


12:24 p.m.

Canada’s top public health official says 4 per cent of tests for COVID-19 have been confirmed positive.

The percentage has slowly climbed by one percentage point over the course of the week.

Dr. Theresa Tam says Canada is also seeing a sharper increase in deaths.

So far, she says the health system is coping.


12:10 p.m.

Beaders in many parts of the North have joined a project to create a visible symbol of appreciation for front-line workers battling COVID-19 — from doctors and nurses to grocery store clerks and truck drivers.

Yukon resident Kyla Popadynec (pop-a-DEN'-ick) says she came up with the idea earlier this week to create a beaded fireweed pin for staff at the Dawson City health clinic where she works.

But when several hundred people from Alaska to Yellowknife offered their beading skills, Popadynec says plans for the tribute pins were expanded.

She says the fireweed design was selected because the purple flower is often the first plant to return after a wildfire, and represents strength, healing and renewal.


11:56 a.m.

Nova Scotia is reporting 14 new cases of COVID-19 bringing the provincial total to 207 confirmed cases.

Health officials say five people are currently in hospital, while 21 people have now recovered and their cases of COVID-19 are considered resolved.

Most cases in Nova Scotia are connected to travel or a known case, with one confirmed case of community transmission and more expected in the future.

Officials say testing done to date has resulted in 8,234 negative results.


11:39 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s working with the United States to help them understand that trade between the two countries goes both ways.

He made the comments after the White House ordered a U.S. manufacturer to stop delivering N95 respirators to Canada from the United States.

He says it would be a huge mistake to restrict staff, or products and services from crossing the border in both directions.


11:32 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the government will be delivering additional aid to low-income people through the GST credit sooner than expected.

The government initially announced the money would be available in May, but Trudeau now says the money will be delivered this month.

Every qualifying adult will receive up to $300, plus $150 for each child.


11:24 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the government would donate $100 million to meet urgent food needs across the country, including in northern and Indigenous communities.

He says the money will help buy and deliver food to the people who need it most.

The organizations who will receive funding include Food Banks Canada, The Breakfast Club of Canada, The Salvation Army and others.


11:21 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the Canadian Forces are being sent to northern Quebec to help communities there prepare to respond to COVID-19.

He says the federal government is answering a call from the Quebec government.

In a daily appearance outside his Ottawa residence today, Trudeau also says the federal government has an agreement with Amazon to use its distribution network to send medical supplies to meet provincial needs.


11 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 462 more COVID-19 cases today, bringing the total number in the province to 3,255.

Health officials also reported 14 more deaths, bringing the toll to 67.

There are also 192 more resolved cases for a new total of 1,023.


10:20 a.m.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is calling for the federal Liberals to be more transparent about their response to the COVID-19 crisis.

He wants the government to release national level data on the spread of the virus and its implications.

He also says the government needs to move faster to get money into the hands of business, calling for them to immediately rebate GST payments.

Scheer says his party wants to be part of a Team Canada approach to virus response, but that doesn't mean not asking tough questions and demanding accountability.

He says Parliament must find a way to convene remotely to increase oversight of the government.


10:11 a.m.

The growing movement in British Columbia and across Canada to salute health care workers by clapping and making noise each evening at 7 p.m. will gain even more volume tonight.

A statement from the Chamber of Shipping, the voice for the marine industry on Canada's west coast, says all ships in B.C. waters will sound their horns in solidarity.

The statement says the audible celebration is noteworthy because ship crews are also working to maintain essential transportation networks.

The chamber says vessels move critical cargo directly supporting medical efforts or supplying communities to ensure they continue to function.


8:20 a.m.

The Canadian Bankers Association says the country's six largest banks have deferred more than 10 per cent of the mortgages in their portfolios as borrowers affected by COVID-19 seek financial help.

The association says almost 500,000 requests for mortgage deferrals or to skip a payment have been completed or are in process.

Canadian banks announced a mortgage deferral program over two weeks ago in a move to help those hurt by the steps taken to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The six largest banks said they would allow customers to defer mortgage payments for up to six months among other changes.


6:30 a.m.

A regional government near Toronto has apologized after revealing it accidentally mailed letters to 16 people saying their COVID-19 tests were negative when they were actually positive.

The Region of Peel's top medical official says the letters were mailed on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Dr. Lawrence Loh says his team is working to notify the people involved and that changes have been made to their process to ensure the mistake doesn't happen again.


The Canadian Press

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