Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- Ford vows action after report on Ontario long-term care homes finds seniors lived and died in filthy, understaffed facilities
- Inspectors report finds unsafe conditions at four seniors’ homes in Quebec where 250 residents died of COVID-19
- The Liberal government shut down debate on its plan to extend suspension of regular Parliamentary sittings to September
In Canada, 86,614 cases have been reported, more than double the number from 33 days ago. There have also been 45,260 recoveries and 6,637 deaths. Health officials have administered 1,574,281 tests.
Worldwide, there have been at least 5,546,987 cases confirmed, 2,269,769 recoveries and 348,021 deaths reported.
Sources: Canada data is compiled from government websites, Johns Hopkins and COVID-19 Canada Open Data Working Group; international data is from Johns Hopkins University.
Coronavirus explainers: Updates and essential resources • Coronavirus in maps and charts • Lockdown rules and reopening plans in each province
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The Parliamentary Budget Officer updated his deficit forecast, now saying the federal deficit for the year will likely hit $260-billion.
- Since Yves Giroux’s last estimate, the government introduced $7.6-billion in new spending.
- The budget watchdog said the pandemic levels of spending are not sustainable, adding most relief measures should eventually sunset.
- He added stimulus measures will be necessary, but new spending should be very targeted because “there’s not that much firepower left.”
The office will also provide a cost estimate for a basic income program in the coming weeks. [For subscribers]
Coronavirus in Canada
There are currently at least 2,347 hospitalized cases, a 19 per cent drop from a week ago. Of those, 341 are in intensive care.
- Officials in Toronto, Ontario will pilot new physical distancing measures in Trinity Bellwoods, painting circles on the grass. On Saturday, crowds flocked to the park, while Sunday saw an increased police presence but fewer park goers. Toronto-based Porter Airlines has cancelled flights for another month and does not plan to resume flying until July 29.
- In British Columbia, BC Ferries is reporting losses up to $1.5-million per day as traffic dropped 80 per cent.
- Quebec is offering Cirque du Soleil a $200-million loan to stay afloat during the pandemic. [For subscribers]
- Manitoba will send a $200 cheque to people living with disabilities and who are on social assistance.
- The legislature in Prince Edward Island met today, the first session during the pandemic.
In Ottawa, the minority Liberal government used a closure motion to shut down debate on its motion to suspend regular Parliamentary sittings for another four months.
- The NDP supported the motion in exchange for a pledge to work with the provinces to secure 10 days of paid sick leave for workers. (Details for paid sick leave – like if it would be paid for by the governments or private employers – have not been provided.)
- The motions allows the pandemic-specific committee to continue to meet four days a week in the House until June 18, including remote participation by MPs.
- Liberals say the special pandemic committed is a sufficient venue for the prime minister and cabinet to answer questions from the opposition while respecting public health measures.
- Conservative and Bloc MPs say the committee is a weak replacement for regular sittings.
Long-term care homes: Canada’s military released a report into the conditions in long-term care homes. The report found people left in filth for weeks, others left on the floor where they had fallen, cockroach infestations, people choking while being improperly fed, patients with brutal pressure sores, and people pleading for help for hours to no avail.
- Ontario Premier Doug Ford vowed action, and called the report’s findings “appalling” and “disgusting.”
- Quebec’s ombudswoman will investigate why more than 60 per cent of the province’s COVID-19 deaths happened in care homes.
Ontario and Quebec requested the military to extend its mission another 30 days. The military reported 36 of its members working in long-term care homes have contracted COVID-19. Earlier this month, Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam said deaths in care homes account for 81 per cent of all COVID-19 deaths in Canada.
And: The Globe and Mail has reported on situations at long-term care homes, including how shoring up hospitals contributed to the crisis, the gaps in provincial policies and shortcomings of local public health units, and the systemic deficiencies that have existed for years.
- In Ontario, a Globe investigation reveals what went wrong at Anson Place, a long-term care home in Hagersville, where 27 of 101 residents died of COVID-19.
- In Quebec, workplace-safety complaints filed in May and April at four of the province’s long-term care homes reveal critical gaps in care, including insufficient protective equipment and staff.
Coronavirus around the world
- The New York Stock Exchange trading floor reopened to solid gains, as the U.S. death toll climbed toward 100,000. Meanwhile, the WHO cautioned the global pandemic’s second wave is still ahead, suggesting economic recovery will be an uphill battle.
- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson again defended his senior aide, Donald Cummings, who drove 400 km to his father’s home despite strict lockdown restrictions in place in late March. Johnson said he acted responsibly, legally and with integrity.
- German media reported the country will begin to ease lockdown restrictions one week early, on June 29, and will aim to ease travel restrictions mid-June. Germany has kept its coronavirus death rate relatively low, at 8,302 so far, despite a high number of cases.
- Spain urged its European Union partners to set up common health-check rules, to open up borders and re-establish freedom of travel as national coronavirus lockdowns are phased out. The government also declared a 10-day official mourning period beginning Wednesday to honour the country’s dead from the pandemic.
Coronavirus and business
Scotiabank reported a profit of $1.32-billion, down 41 per cent, as funds earmarked to cover loan losses soared. They are the first major bank to report earnings since the pandemic took hold, and indicate losses that can be expected at other lenders.
By May 29, all of the Big Six banks will have reported second-quarter earnings. [For subscribers]
And: What should you do with your summer travel savings? Rob Carrick has some advice. [For subscribers]
Question and answer
Question: How can cities encourage safe enjoyment of parks?
Answer: Jason Gilliland, director of the urban development program at the University of Western Ontario, said one way to help ensure physical distancing in a park setting would be to paint lines or circles in the grass to provide a visual bubble that reminds people to keep their distance.
Another short-term solution would be opening up more roadways to pedestrians, or converting some parking lots into temporary green spaces.
Lawrence Frank, a public-health and urban planning expert at the University of British Columbia, says people may start getting more reckless outdoors because they know the chance of exposure to novel coronavirus droplets is lower than in an enclosed space.
Creating a “social norm,” where it’s understood that gathering in groups is not acceptable, is a potential solution to help steer people away from unhealthy behaviour, he said.
While some experts believe fines could work, Frank says that type of enforcement would be hard to regulate. Gilliland added that fines would need to be doled in an equal manner, making sure some communities aren’t being more “over-policed” than others.
An act of kindness
J.K. Rowling will publish a fairy tale, The Ickabog, free online for children in lockdown.
Have you witnessed or performed acts of kindness in your neighbourhood? Share your stories, photos and videos and they might be included in The Globe and Mail. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
🎧 For the podcast fan: Three episodes to stream
- Something new: Toronto filmmaker Erik Anderson reads Lewis Carroll’s classic novel Alice in Wonderland.
- Something chatty: Joe Rogan’s interview with actor-comedian Patton Oswalt ranges from talk of the creative process to postcoronavirus comedy to bar-stool political jabber.
- Something heartbreaking: Marc Maron openly grieves the death of Lynn Shelton, his creative collaborator and romantic partner, on his podcast.
More Globe reporting and opinion
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will co-host a virtual United Nations meeting, to open up borders and re-establish freedom of travel as national coronavirus lockdowns are phased out.
- Ottawa is delaying a national action plan to address violence against missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls because its front-line partners are now dealing with keeping their communities safe during the pandemic.
- Does online postsecondary learning offer the same value proposition as on-campus? The Globe and Mail hosted a virtual webcast last week to explore what a virtual fall semester might mean for students from a cost and access perspective.
- Lawrence Martin: “What might he do this time? The prospect has those who oppose Mr. Trump alarmed. The coronavirus pandemic, in combination with his contempt for conformity, his willingness to shred presidential standards, creates the potential for electoral chaos heretofore unseen.” [For subscribers]
- Rob Carrick: “If you’ve been saving bit by bit for your summer vacation, then you might have accumulated a sizable amount right now. The Two Cents blog recently looked at the options for your summer travel savings – either hold onto it for when you can travel again, or add it to your emergency savings fund.” [For subscribers]
- Here’s what you should do if you are newly laid off; how to apply for CERB, EI, and other financial benefits; and other coronavirus and employment questions answered.
- How to minimize damage to your credit score; how to manage retirement anxiety during difficult times; and things to think about if you’re considering home delivery.
- Here are the expectations for self-isolation; tips for managing anxiety; and protecting your mental health.
- How to get physical distancing right; measures condo buildings are taking to encourage physical distancing; and what you can do to help slow the spread of coronavirus.
- Here are the essentials to stock up on and how to shop safely for groceries; the best pantry staples; foods to eat to maintain an immune system-friendly diet; and how to keep a healthy diet while working from home.
- How to break a bad habit (like touching your face) and what to do if you think you have the virus.
Have questions about the coronavirus? Email email@example.com.