Trudeau Defending His Government’s Vaccine Procurement – Full COVID19 Update

Trudeau Again Defending the Vaccine Procurement:

The prime minister is again rejecting claims his government has botched Canada’s COVID vaccine readiness. Justin Trudeau told the House of Commons yesterday that numerous vaccine manufacturers closed their facilities or moved out of Canada in years when Conservative governments were in power. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls that absurd and is expressing dismay that Canada does not produce its own vaccines.

Bloc Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet said the Canadian situation is unacceptable. The Prime Minister did not answer Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner when she asked Trudeau whether his government has negotiated contracts with international drug companies to produce COVID19 vaccines in Canada. Trudeau says the US, Germany and the UK will likely get vaccines to their people first because they produce their own.

Here is the Prime Minister in Question Period yesterday:

 

Ontario Numbers:

There were 1,373 additional cases of COVID19 reported yesterday by the province, along with 35 new deaths linked to the virus.  There are currently 523 people hospitalized with COVID19 in Ontario, including 159 in intensive care.

New Provincial Projections to be Released Today:

The province is set to unveil new COVID19 projections this afternoon, for the first time since sending Toronto and Peel Region into lockdown. Previous modelling showed Ontario could see between 2,500 and 6,500 new COVID cases every day by mid-December. The following day, Premier Ford announced he was lowering the thresholds for public health restrictions in his colour-coded system.

Government Advising Everyone to Only Celebrate the Holidays In-Person with Members of Their Own Household:

Premier Ford says all Ontarians should stick only to their own households for upcoming holiday celebrations. Ford says people just can’t take any chances” when it comes to COVID19 — even if they live outside Toronto and Peel Region, which are currently under lockdown. The only exception to the guidance is people who live alone, who are allowed to join one other household.

To read the full details: CLICK HERE (You will be redirected to the government of Ontario site).

Tam Says Everyone Should Only Go Out for Essentials:

The country’s top doctor is advising Canadians to only go out for essentials and not to socialize outside their household. Theresa Tam says the number of people experiencing severe cases of COVID19 is continuing to rise, putting a strain on health-care services. The provinces are grappling with how to balance health measures and safe enjoyment of the upcoming holidays. Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister has told residents to plan for a Christmas without group gatherings. Quebec Premier Francois Legault says limited Christmas gatherings may be allowed, but is asking people to quarantine a week before and after the holiday.

Immigration Minister Questioned About Why So Many Professional Athletes Got a Border Exemption:

The office for Canada’s Immigration Minister was forced to clarify details of the national interest exemptions he’s authorized after the number surfaced at yesterday’s House of Commons immigration committee hearing. The committee was initially told that 1,300 national interest exemptions had been clear by Marco Mendicino. But his office says only four were issued — covering 13-hundred professional athletes in three different major sports leagues. Mendicino has been under pressure to loosen the border restrictions to allow more families to reunite.

Toronto Aiming to get Residents Outdoors:

The City of Toronto is trying to encourage people to spend more time outdoors, even in sub-zero temperatures. Mayor John Tory announced that city staff will ramp up winter maintenance in parks. He says it’s important for people to stay active, despite the COVID19 pandemic.

London Hospital Temporarily Halts New Admissions:

New admissions have been temporarily halted at a London hospital in an effort to fight a COVID19 outbreak. The network that manages several hospitals in the city says 41 patients and staff have been infected so far at University Hospital. The local public health unit recommended the halt to admissions on Tuesday and said the move would be reassessed in 48 hours. The London Health Sciences Centre says new patients are now being sent to the network’s Victoria Hospital.

More “Anti-Mask Protest” Charges Laid:

Three organizers of an anti-mask rally in London last weekend have been charged with violating COVID19 public health restrictions. Police say the three women failed to cancel the “Freedom Rally” on Sunday despite being warned in advance that the public gathering would be in breach of the Reopening Ontario Act. They say approximately 200 people turned out for the protest against current COVID19 restrictions. Police say the women aged 36, 37 and 44, are charged with being participants in and hosting a gathering that exceeded provincial limits.

Western University Extending Their Winter Break:

Western University will extend its winter holiday break in light of the challenges of the pandemic. The London university will reopen on January 4th after the exam period, but the school has decided to have classes resume a week later on January 11. University president Alan Shepard says students have reported feeling worn out and the extension is meant to offer more rest after a “trying year.” The university is also offering two “flex” days off to employees between January and May.

COVID Crisis in Manitoba:

Health officials say intensive care units in Manitoba are operating 146 per cent above their normal capacity because of COVID19. Dr. Brent Roussin, the chief provincial public health officer, says he is extremely disappointed to hear about people skirting public health rules. Public health orders have banned non-essential shopping in stores, but Roussin says some people are leaving the province to make purchases. There are 303 people in hospital with 50 patients in intensive care.

Alberta Has Hit 500 COVID Deaths:

Alberta has now hit a new and very sobering milestone, reaching 500 total deaths due to COVID19. Doctor Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health, says there are also 355 people in hospital, including 71 in intensive care. Hinshaw says health officials are now re-designating beds and reassigning patients to make room for more ICU beds. Premier Jason Kenney announced new rules Tuesday to reduce the soaring rates of COVID19, which have been well over a thousand new cases every day for almost a week.

New Restrictions in Saskatchewan:

The Saskatchewan government is suspending team sports for the next three weeks and slashing capacity limits for public venues to 30 people in its latest attempt to curb the spread of COVID19. Premier Scott Moe announced the new health measures yesterday from his home in Shellbrook. That’s where he is isolating after eating at a restaurant where someone infectious had been.

BC Planning their Vaccine Rollout:

Health officials in British Columbia say they are hard at work on a COVID19 vaccine rollout plan. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says front-line workers, as well as those in long-term care homes, will likely have priority for vaccinations, and it’s hoped vaccines will be available in January. Recent record-breaking case numbers across the country have many health professionals worried about the strain being put on health-care services. Henry says the plan will be very-much focused on who is most at risk and how to protect them best.

Nova Scotia Numbers:

Nova Scotia continues to see its COVID count climb, with 16 new cases reporters — all in the Halifax area. Yesterday’s updated tally brings the total number of active cases in the province to 102. Chief Medical Officer of Health, Doctor Robert Strang says most of the new cases are young adults aged 18 to 35. He says they’re contracting the virus from others who don’t show symptoms in social settings.

Nova Scotia Bringing in Rent Control:

Nova Scotia’s government is bringing in rent control to combat evictions of low-income tenants and rising homelessness in Halifax during the COVID19 pandemic. Housing Minister Chuck Porter says rents across the province can’t increase by more than two per cent a year. He also says landlords will not be able to obtain an eviction order for renovations. The protections for renters will be in place until February 1st, 2022, or until the state of emergency is lifted.

The Demographics on COVID in Quebec are Shifting:

Data from Quebec’s national public health institute shows the percentage of total COVID19 cases in the province among people over the age of 70 is increasing. Just over 18 per cent of Quebecers with active COVID19 cases since November 22nd were over the age of 70;  up from about 15 per cent the previous week. However, the number is still significantly below what was reported last spring, when seniors over 70 years old accounted for just over 35 per cent of total COVID infections in Quebec. Quebec reported 1,100 new COVID19 cases and 28 more deaths attributed to the virus yesterday.

This is a Big Travel Day in America, Despite CDC Warnings:

Travelling for Thanksgiving is as much part of the tradition as a turkey dinner, and millions of Americans are on the move today. Still, the number travelling by air over the past several days was down dramatically from the same time last year. The US Centers for Disease Control is warning about the dangers of spreading COVID19 at these holiday gatherings. The average number of deaths per day is now over 1,600.

Biden Calls on Americans to Work Together:

US president-elect Joe Biden is calling on Americans to join together to fight against COVID19. In a Thanksgiving-eve address, he pledged to use the powers of the federal government to change the course of the pandemic once in office. Biden says for that to work, Americans must step up for their own safety and that of their fellow citizens. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, made a futile call to turn the election over.

KW Mayors Ask Toronto and Peel Not to Visit For Now:

The mayors of Kitchener and Waterloo have made it clear. People in the locked down regions should not be doing the drive to Waterloo Region to dine-in or do their holiday shopping. Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic says, “We’re usually a welcoming community but I think it’s best right now for everyone to stay in their own communities and conduct any business activities there. Please stay home and don’t come down to our region or any other region outside of Toronto and Peel.” Waterloo mayor Dave Jaworsky had a similar message in saying, “People from Toronto, Brampton, Mississauga really need to cope with what’s going on there.” Both mayors say people in the GTA and in Waterloo Region should shop local to help support their own communities.

Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:

Yesterday Waterloo Region set another new record for daily COVID19 infections. Public Health added 78 new cases to the dashboard. 73 of them were from the 24-hour period. Active cases shot up to 404. That is a new record too. Hospitalizations were also up. There are now 22 people in the Region’s hospitals with 11 in intensive care.

There are now 150 active cases in the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health unit after 20 new cases were announced yesterday. The number hospitalized climbed to 4. 12 of the new cases were in Wellington County.

Waterloo Region Shopping Destinations Must Monitor Inside Capacity Starting Tomorrow:

Shopping in Waterloo Region is going to look a little different starting tomorrow. The region’s medical officer of health has issued a Section 22 order, which comes into effect at midnight on Friday, requiring shopping malls and retail stores to ensure capacity is managed and actively monitored so physical distancing can be maintained. Expect to see line-ups outside stores this weekend. Tomorrow is Black Friday.

 Waterloo Region Infections:

  • Public health has confirmed that a staff member at Wilson Avenue Public School in Kitchener has tested positive for COVID19. They were last at the school last Thursday. (November 19).
  • A student has tested positive for COVID19 at Sir Adam Beck Public School in Baden. That’s the school’s second positive case.

Contains files from The Canadian Press

Photo Credit: House of Commons TV / CPAC via YouTube screenshot

 

Posted in COVID19, News
Scott Fox and Kat Callaghan